Car emissions at an all-time low, industry says

The amount of emissions from new cars have reached an all-time low, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Throughout 2013, carbon emissions from car tailpipes averages at around 124.6g emitted per kilometre travelled, well below the EU-wide target of 130g/km, the SMMT said.

In total, this makes the figure for last year nearly three per cent better than the figure for 2013 and 24 per cent better than the figures from 2007.

Emissions three per cent less than in 2013

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, said: “The UK automotive sector has made enormous strides in cutting emissions across the board and should be proud of its achievements.”

As well as being good for the environment, the reduction in emissions is also good news for buyers and drivers, who are increasingly benefitting from reductions in road tax thanks to cleaner cars.

In the past few years, the sales of low-emissions vehicles have skyrocketed as buyers have been spurred on by incentives like lower fuel costs and a reduction in the amount of tax they have to pay.

It’s likely that sales of alternatively-fuelled, electric or hybrid vehicles will only continue to rise in the coming years, after the European Parliament announced the introduction of even tougher emissions limits.

From 2020 onwards, new cars sold within the EU will have to average no more than 95g/km of CO2 in a bid to further reduce the impact of vehicles on the environment.

Greg Archer, clean vehicles manager for Transport & Environment, said: “The final agreement is still a good deal for the environment, EU economy and drivers – reducing fuel use and CO2 emissions.”

In fact, many drivers have said that they’ll never go back to a conventionally-fuelled petrol or diesel car again after turning to electric or hybrid vehicles like the Nissan LEAF.

More stringent EU targets from 2020

Despite this, Mr Hawes said that more still needs to be done in order to get drivers cutting down their emissions. He said: “There is a long way to go, and meeting ambitious targets in 2020 will require on-going support and investment.

“Striking the delicate balance between influencing buying behaviour, encouraging investment and maintaining critical tax income will be a big challenge.”

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