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AFVs & Government EV campaign help drive down new car emissions

That's the finding of a new report by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which says the fall in emissions has been driven by increased fuel efficiency of new cars, helped by consumer movement towards more economical cars as well as alternatively fuelled vehicles including plug-ins.

Registrations of cars in the Mini segment almost doubled against 2012, while the Supermini segment also showed solid growth. A new car is 20% more efficient than the average car in use, so consumers will notice a real difference when replacing their old car.

Meanwhile figures for alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) show a threefold increase in the number of plug-in models on the market in the last three years alone. Registrations of AFVs grew 17.6% to 32,731 in 2013, with 7.7% accounted for by pure-electric vehicles. The SMMT adds that the Government and industry’s new Go Ultra Low campaign (www.goultralow.com), which aims to raise awareness of the benefits of driving ultra-low emission vehicles (those producing less than 75g/km CO2), is set to boost these figures through this year.

The announcement follows the recent news that the European Commission has launched legal proceedings against the UK for illegal levels of harmful air pollution and failing to meet nitrogen dioxide limits set out in the 2008 EU Air Quality Directive.

 

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: ‘The UK automotive industry should be proud of the progress it has made in improving the environmental impact of its vehicles. Average new car CO2 emissions are almost 30% lower than in 2000, boosted by increasing uptake of the most efficient engine technologies, alternatively-fuelled vehicles and the new Go Ultra Low campaign.

‘Through the Automotive Sector Strategy, it has been hugely encouraging to see government’s determination to ensure the UK is at the forefront of research, development and introduction of low carbon vehicles.’

The full SMMT New Car CO2 Report 2014 is free to download from www.smmt.co.uk/co2report.

Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 14 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie works across the magazine portfolio and updates the company websites with daily news, interviews and road test content.

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