9 Dec 22

Fleets help reduce new car CO2 emissions to record low

Battery electric will dominate Europe's seven major car markets by 2027

The average carbon dioxide emissions of new cars have fallen to a record low this year as fleets and private buyers migrate to ultra-low emission vehicles.

The average CO2 figure for passenger cars was just 113g/km over the first nine months of 2022, according to Dataforce, 3g/km below the EU’s target for the continent to maintain its trajectory towards zero tailpipe emissions.

Scandinavian countries are leading the race to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases responsible for global warming, with 28% of true fleet sales and 46% of private car sales being powered by battery electric powertrains, leading the market. A further 22% of fleet sales and 14% of private sales are plug-in hybrid across Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.

This dramatic uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles means the average CO2 produced by new cars sold in Norway this year is just 20g/km. The Netherlands, too, has made significant progress in the past year, reducing its average emissions per new car from 107g/km in 2021 to 92g/km this year. At the other end of the electrification spectrum, however, the average for Slovakia is 164g/km.

Average CO2 emissions per new car
Country Jan-Sep 2022 Jan-Sep 2021
Belgium 108g/km 120g/km
France 103g/km 120g/km
Germany 116g/km 120g/km
Italy 120g/km 123g/km
Netherlands 92g/km 107g/km
Poland 133g/km 137g/km
Spain 121g/km 126g/km
UK 115g/km 124g/km

OEM targets

The CO2 reductions are important to vehicle manufacturers because of the CAFÉ fines that lie in wait for exceeding the EU target of 116g/km. According to Dataforce, the combined average of the VW Group is 125g/km, due to the shortfall in electric car production amid the chip and component shortages this year, although ‘supercredits’ for battery electric and PHEV vehicles should help the VW Group avoid any financial penalties.

“As another safeguard, VW Group has also formed an emission hedging pool with multiple smaller electric car manufacturers (including MG, Nio, LEVC, Xpeng, eGo), which will further bring down CO2,” said Dataforce.

Alternative fuels overtake diesel

Speaking at the Fleet Europe Summit, Marc Odinius said: “In the fleet market diesel still has a 33% share, but it’s not growing, and if you add up BEV, PHEV and hybrid sales, you are already above diesel. In the last few months it has really gone up.”

He forecasts that BEVs will be the most popular powertrain in Europe by 2027 across the seven largest markets in Europe, and even earlier in some, with Italy and Spain bringing up the rear.

Image: Shutterstock

Data: Dataforce

Authored by: Jonathan Manning