According to EU legislation, the average emissions of a car maker’s range should be no more than 130g/km by 2015 but only nine manufacturers currently sit underneath that figure.
Those who do not offer sub-130g/km average CO2 emissions will face heavy fines per g/km of emissions for every car sold.
Currently, Fiat lead the way on car emissions with average CO2 across its range of just 116.6g/km – a 6.5 per cent improvement on last year’s figure.
Fiat offers a range of frugal diesel engines based around its MultiJet technology and its range of more compact cars such as the Fiat Doblo people carrier, Fiat Punto Evo hatchback and the Fiat 500 city car lend themselves to low emissions.
The Fiat 500 was also the first petrol car to offer a sub-100g/km engine in the shape of the two-cylinder TwinAir option launched towards the end of 2010.
Other manufacturers below the 130g/km threshold include Citroen, whose low-CO2 Airdream+ range for the likes of the Citroen C3 and upmarket Citroen DS3 have proved a success.
Seat, Peugeot and Alfa Romeo all boast sufficient levels of CO2 to meet EU criteria today, according to Clean Green Cars.
Porsche is currently the worst performing car maker with average CO2 emissions levels of 222.41g/km.
Meanwhile, Ford, Kia, Vauxhall and Renault are all within 8g/km of the target and are expected to dip below it in the next 12 months.
Ford, Vauxhall and Renault will all launch electric cars or vans in 2012, which have zero tailpipe emissions and will help to bring the average CO2 figure down.
Kia has also announced it is looking into electric technology and is expected to launch a Kia Optima saloon hybrid version in future.