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EEA final data shows average car CO2 emissions in Europe kept increasing in 2019

Average emissions from new passenger cars in Europe increased for the third consecutive year in 2019, reaching 122.3 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometrer (g CO2/km), according to the European Environment Agency’s (EEA) final data. Data about newly registered vans show a stable trend.


Key reasons include the growth in the sport utility vehicle segment and an increased average mass. Almost 15.5 million new cars were registered in 2019 in the EU, Iceland, Norway and the United Kingdom, and about 38% of these were SUVs. SUVs are typically heavier than other cars and have more powerful engines and larger frontal areas—all features that increase fuel consumption.

Most new SUVs registered were gasoline vehicles, with average emissions of 134 g CO2/km, which is around 13 g CO2/km higher than other new gasoline cars. Moreover, the average mass of new conventional cars, excluding SUV, increased by around 22 kg from 2018 to 2019.

In 2019, as in 2018, gasoline cars were the most sold passenger vehicles, constituting 59% of all new registrations. Diesel vehicles constituted 31% of new registrations.

In 2019, average CO2 emissions from all new cars reached 122.3 g CO2/km. Although this is below the EU fleet-wide target of 130 g CO2/km set for the period 2015-2019, it is well above the 2021 target of 95 g CO2/km, phased-in in 2020. Electric vehicles constituted 3.5% of new car registrations in 2019.

Most car manufacturers met their individual binding CO2 emission targets for fleets of newly registered passenger cars in 2019.

In 2019, average emissions of new vans were 158.0 g CO2/km, which is about 7 % above the 2020 target of 147 g CO2/km. The share of electric vans in registrations nearly doubled between from 2018 (0.8 %) to 2019 (1.4 %), but the vast majority (94%) of new vans still ran on diesel, the EEA indicator shows.

New emission data from heavy-duty vehicles. The EEA has also released a new dataset about emissions of new heavy-duty vehicles, such as buses and trucks. The average specific CO2 emissions of all new heavy-duty vehicles registered in the EU from 2019 to mid-2020 stood at 53 g CO2/tkm (i.e. for the transport of one tone of goods over one kilometer). The EEA’s 2019-2020 data set a baseline for these vehicles’ emission reductions, with targets to reach 15% lower emissions in 2025, and 30% lower emissions in 2030.



2 or 3 things happened here.
a: People moved from diesel to petrol (mainly due to the VW scandal).
b: People moved to SUVs from hatchbacks and saloons (just fashion).
c: They switched from NEDC to WLTP as a way of measuring CO2. (Though I'm not sure how that is covered, if at all).
So it is a double or triple whammy for the EU car manufacturers, and has forced them to develop loads of EVs to try to get their fleet averages down.

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