|2010 Fleet-average weight and fleet-average CO2 emissions by carmaker, compared with EU target line. Source: T&E. Click to enlarge.|
The sixth annual analysis conducted by T&E, the European Federation for Transport and Environment, of new car CO2 emissions in Europe (2011 Cars & CO2 Report: How clean are Europe’s cars) found that Volvo Car Corporation led the pack with a CO2 reduction of 9%. Europe’s eight largest carmakers cut their CO2 emissions by an average of 2% to 6% in 2010. Mazda and Honda were both negative outliers, with small increases in emissions.
Overall, carbon dioxide emissions from new cars sold in the EU dropped by 3.7% in 2010, and today the average figure for new cars sold in Europe is 140 grams per kilometer. The analysis found that the top four in terms of fleet-average CO2 emissions remained unchanged. Fiat leads with 126 g/km, followed by Toyota, PSA and Renault. Daimler remains last on the list, having reduced CO2 in 2010 by a below-average 3%.
The current European regulation on cars and CO2 strives to achieve a 130 g/km average figure by 2015. Automaker targets for 2015 are differentiated on the basis of the weight of the vehicles they produce in 2015 compared with the average weight of the vehicles the entire industry will produce over the 2011-13 period.
Toyota is again closest to hitting its regulatory CO2 target, T&E found; the company is virtually there, five years ahead of time. PSA and Fiat are very close too with 3 and 5% cuts left to make respectively. Daimler is still furthest away with a 15% gap yet to close. Volvo is ranked tenth by this criteria, with an 8% gap.
The headline conclusion of last year’s report therefore remains unchanged: all available evidence points towards carmakers in Europe heading for very significant ‘over-compliance’ with the CO2 regulation and are hence likely to hit the 130 g/km CO2 target for 2015 several years in advance.—2011 Cars & CO2 Report
Volvo said its 2010 results derived from a concerted focus under the “DRIVe towards zero” banner; sales of fuel-efficient diesel engines from the DRIVe range have been highly successful and are one of the explanations behind the major reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.
Examples of popular models are the V50 DRIVe with emissions of 99 gram/km and the V70 DRIVe with 119 gram/km. The Volvo Car Corporation’s CO2 strategy also includes electrified cars with varying degrees of hybridization, more efficient diesel and gasoline engines, and alternative fuels.
The aim is to come down to an average of 95 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer across our total car sales in 2020. In theory that is entirely feasible, but a lot depends on developments in legislation, incentives, energy availability and of course customer demand. In addition, the EU intends to introduce a new method for calculating carbon dioxide, and this too will impact our plan.—Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research and Development at the Volvo Car Corporation
In the report, T&E notes it has always opposed linking CO2 standards to vehicle weight, arguing that it takes away important incentives for vehicle lightweighting. Research commissioned by T&E found that basing CO2 standards on the car’s footprint—i.e., like the approach being taken in the US—is likely to allow cheaper and deeper CO2 reductions, and likely to lead to safer vehicles than weight based standards.
According to T&E, based on the analysis of the 2010 data, a change towards ‘footprint’-based standards would hardly change the relative positions of carmakers towards their regulatory targets. For most, in particular the volume carmakers like Volkswagen Group, PSA, GM, Toyota and Hyundai, the change would be in the 0-1% range. Volvo would also end up ranked 10th under this scheme, with an 11% gap to close by 2015.
|Comparison of distance to 2015 targets for a weight-based versus a footprint-based set of CO2 standards. Source: T&E. Click to enlarge.|