UK new car emissions hit all-time low

UK average new car CO2 emissions fell to an all-time low of 124.6g/km in 2014, beating the EU target by 4.2%, according to the SMMT.

UK new car emissions hit all-time low

The 2014 new car CO2 emissions, beat the previous year’s record average by 2.9% and 2007 levels by almost a quarter (24%), having declined for the 17th consecutive year in a row.

The statement from the SMMT attributed the decline to more efficient diesel and petrol engines and the significant growth of the alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFV) market.

Sales of plug-in vehicles increased fourfold to 14,498 in 2014 and, for the first time, the UK surged ahead in Europe, registering more new plug-ins than any other country. By the end of the year, there were 52,000 AFVs – including hybrids, plug-ins and range extenders – on the road, a 58.1% increase on 2013. 
In 2014, more than two thirds of new cars (68.6%) met or fell under the 130g/km EU threshold, compared with just 0.9% in 2000, with buyers of these cars benefitting from the £0 first year Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) rate.

Mike Hawes, chief executive at SMMT, said: “The UK automotive sector has made enormous strides in cutting emissions across the board and should be proud of its achievements. However, there is a long way to go, and meeting ambitious targets in 2020 will require ongoing support and investment.

“Striking the delicate balance between influencing buying behaviour, encouraging investment and maintaining critical tax income will be a big challenge. SMMT is committed to working with the next government to make the changes now that will help the industry meet the even greater cuts in CO2 demanded in the future.”