CO2 emissions from new passenger cars in the EU: Car manufacturers’ performance in 2013

Published: 2014.06.13

Uwe Tietge, Peter Mock

The European Environment Agency (EEA) recently published its provisional data for CO2 emissions from passenger cars sold in the European Union during 2013. For the EU fleet, average CO2 emissions of new cars decreased from 162 grams per kilometer (g CO2/km) in 2005 to 127 g/km in 2013, a 22 percent reduction. As CO2 emissions are directly related to fuel consumption, this reduction is equivalent to a decrease in fuel consumption from approximately 6.7 liters per 100 kilometers (l/100 km) to 5.2 l/100 km.

The EEA data shows that the European automobile industry as a whole already exceeds compliance with the 2015 target of 130 g CO2/km in 2013. Upon closer inspection, two distinct trends can be identified. Up until 2007—that is, under the industry’s voluntary reduction agreement—the annual CO2 reduction rate was about one percent per year. From 2008 to 2013, the rate of CO2 reduction increased significantly, to approximately four percent per year. A similar trend can also be observed in individual vehicle segments. This indicates that the EU-wide mandatory CO2 regulation put in place in 2008 is a key driver behind this development and is proving effective at increasing vehicle efficiency.

The purpose of this briefing document is to expand upon the EEA’s overall EU fleet CO2 data. It presents a summary of performance by individual car manufacturer, based on the official EEA dataset, as well as fuel and technology trends by manufacturer and member state and the impact of super-credits on each manufacturer’s compliance status.

Results indicate that the top nine car manufacturers, accounting for 87% of EU-27 sales in 2013, already meet their respective 2015 targets. A number of manufacturers, for example PSA and Toyota, have also achieved notable progress towards their 2020 targets.

Hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles (PHEVs), and battery- electric vehicles (BEVs) currently account for 1.9 percent of new cars in the European market. Due to the provision of super-credits, these low-carbon technologies would nonetheless have a noticeable impact on a number of manufacturers’ emission values in 2013.