Monitoring CO2 emissions from new passenger cars and vans in 2014


The European Environment Agency (EEA) supports the European Commission (EC) and European Union (EU) Member States in the monitoring of the carbon dioxide (CO2) performance of passenger cars, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 443/2009, and of light commercial vehicles, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 510/2011. The regulation for passenger cars sets a CO2 emission (1) target of 130 g CO2/km to be met by 2015, while the regulation for light commercial vehicles sets a CO2 'emission' target of 175 g CO2/km to be met by 2017. A binding annual 'specific emissions target' is calculated for each manufacturer based on the average mass of its fleet both for passenger cars and vans (2). The 2015 (cars) target is being phased in gradually from 2012, while the 2017 (vans) target was phased in gradually from 2014. The reported CO2 emissions data presented in this report are based on measurements performed in the laboratory using a standard European vehicle test cycle. Such measurements may not reflect real-world driving performance.

In the medium term, targets of 95 g CO2/km, to apply to the entire fleet from 2021, and of 147 g CO2/km, applicable from 2020, have been set for passenger cars and for light commercial vehicles, respectively. The modalities for compliance with these targets were agreed by the European Parliament and the Council in 2014, with Regulation (EU) No 333/2014 amending Regulation (EC) No 443/2009 (EU, 2009) and Regulation (EU) No 253/2014 amending Regulation (EU) No 510/2011 (EU, 2011).

In order to evaluate the progress that manufacturers are making towards their targets, the EEA has collected and quality checked data on CO2 emissions from passenger cars and vans registered in all EU Member States (3) since 2010. Using Member State data, as verified by manufacturers (4), this report provides an overview of the performance of car and van manufacturers in meeting their 2014 CO2 emission targets.

The monitoring of vans is more complex than of passenger cars, owing to the relatively high number of multi-stage vehicles (5), in which different parts are built by different manufacturers. To address this issue, in 2015, a new monitoring system was put in place that allows each new light commercial vehicle registered in Europe to be identified through a unique vehicle identification number.

The main findings are:

  • In 2014, the new car fleet emitted, on average, 123.4 g CO2/km, significantly below the 2015 target of 130 g CO2/km and a reduction of 2.6% compared with 2013.
  • The average emission of new light commercial vehicles in 2014 was 169.1 g CO2/km, which is below the 2017 target of 175 g CO2km and a reduction of 2.4% compared with 2013.
  • The difference between preliminary average emissions (the emissions data reported earlier in 2015 by each of the Member States) and final average emissions data (the emissions data after any corrections made by the manufacturers) was insignificant (< 0.1 g CO2/km).
  • More diesel vehicles continue to be sold than petrol ones in the EU. In 2014, diesel cars represented 53% of new vehicles.
  • In 2014, an average diesel car emitted 123.2 g CO2/km, just 2.5 g CO2/km less than a petrol car, whereas in 2000 the emissions difference between diesel and petrol vehicles was much larger (17.1 g CO2/km).
  • More efficient models were bought in the pre-2004 EU Member States than in the newer EU Member States. On average, the most efficient cars were bought in the Netherlands (107 g CO2/km), Greece (108 g CO2/km) and Portugal (109 g CO2/km). For vans, average emission levels were lowest among new vans sold in Portugal (145 g CO2/km) and Malta (146 g CO2/km).
  • The average vehicle mass of the passenger car fleet decreased to the level observed in 2010 (1 375 kg). The average mass of the light commercial vehicle fleet is similar to that observed in 2013 (1 764 kg).
  • Almost all car and light commercial vehicle manufacturers achieved their CO2 emission targets set for 2014.

In addition to manufacturers' pivotal role in achieving their specific emissions targets, Member States can influence the uptake of efficient vehicles, including through taxation (registrations tax, circulation tax and fuel tax). In the last section of the report, a summary of the taxation systems in place in Europe is presented.

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