Climate Action

No fuel efficiency improvements in new cars sold in Europe in 2017


New cars sold in the EU in 2017 emitted slightly more carbon dioxide (CO2) per kilometre than those sold in 2016, provisional data show. This is the first increase in average CO2 emissions of the new EU car fleet since monitoring began in 2010.

The average emissions level of a new car sold in the EU in 2017 was 118.5 grams of CO2/km, 0.4g higher than in 2016 but significantly below the 2015 target of 130 g, according to provisional data published by the European Environment Agency (EEA).

Alongside a decrease in the share of diesel cars – which are generally slightly more fuel-efficient than petrol cars – sold in the EU, from 49% in 2016 to 45% in 2017, there was also an increased demand for heavier petrol vehicles. While sales of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and battery-electric vehicles rose by 42% from 2016 to 2017, the share of these vehicles in the new EU car fleet remained low, at 1.5%.

Since monitoring began in 2010, average emissions of new cars in the EU have fallen by 22 g CO2/km – a 16% decrease. Nevertheless, manufacturers will have to further reduce emissions in the coming years in order to meet the EU target of 95 g CO2/km by 2021.

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