EU must step up car fuel efficiency

The improvement of car fuel efficiency must be speeded up in order to meet the EU target for 2021, according to the European Environment Agency (EEA). Provisional figures released by the EEA put average CO2 emissions of new passenger cars sold in the EU in 2016 at 118.1 grams of CO2 per km, a drop of only 1.2 per cent compared to 2015. This reduction is the smallest annual improvement recorded since 2006 for new cars sold in the EU.

Although the EU remains well below its target of 130 g CO2/km set for 2015, it is clear that compared to 2016, annual improvements in efficiency need to significantly increase in each of the coming five years in order to achieve the emissions target of 95 g CO2/km by 2021.

While the share of diesel vehicle sales fell, they still remain the most sold vehicle type in the EU, representing 49.4 per cent of new car sales, followed by petrol vehicles (47%), and alternatively fuelled vehicles (3.3%, including electric vehicles). The average diesel vehicle sold was 302 kg heavier than the average petrol vehicle.

Portugal (105 g CO2/km) together with Denmark, Greece and the Netherlands (106 g CO2/km) are the countries having the most fuel-efficient new cars sold. The least fuel-efficient cars continue to be bought in Estonia (134 g CO2/km).

Source: EEA press release, 20 April 2017 (


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