New Cars in Europe Deliver 3.3 Percent Cleaner Emissions

Last year, 12.8 million new vehicles were registered in the European Union. And, according to preliminary figures released by the European Environment Agency the average CO2 emissions released by these vehicles was 135.7 grams per kilometer.

That total represents a 4.6 g/CO2 reduction of emissions since 2010 or translated another way a drop of 3.3 percent.

The EU has been aggressively pushing for reductions in vehicle emissions and the new figures illustrate that in general, auto manufacturers are meeting the required targets. Collectively, the goal is for the average car sold in Europe to emit a maximum of 130g CO2/km by 2015, dropping to 95 g CO2/km by 2020.

Previous reports by the EEA illustrated that automakers still had some significant ground to make up in order to achieve the 2015 targets, though its most recent findings would suggest progress is being made.

A significant influence on the reduction in overall vehicle emissions, besides advances in technology and engine efficiency is being labeled at diesel cars, which have shown an increase in registrations over the last three years. Although oil burners have long been popular in Europe, recent trends have shown that demand is now well over 50 percent; last year, 55.2 percent of all new vehicles registered in the EU were diesel powered, versus 51.3 percent in 2010.

Although the latest preliminary findings have yet to be verified by the automakers themselves, which is required before the European Commission can make them official, the news so far appears to be encouraging.

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