Automakers warned by EU to significantly cut emissions

BRUSSELS • The European Union (EU) told automakers to do more to meet stringent emission targets after a new report showed CO2 pollution from cars increased.

Average emissions of new passenger cars registered in the EU and Iceland in 2018 rose to 120.8g of C02 a km, up two grammes from the previous year. That’s more than a quarter higher than the fleet-wide target of 95g taking effect from this year.

“Manufacturers will have to improve the fuel efficiency of their fleet and accelerate the deployment of zero and low-emission vehicles,” the European Commission said in a statement yesterday.

Reducing emissions from transport is one of the biggest challenges for the EU, which wants to become climate-neutral by 2050 under the ambitious Green Deal strategy. The commission is considering even stricter goals for car pollution and an extension of the region’s carbon market to cover road transport.

The increase in average emissions for new passenger cars was caused mainly by the continuing shift away from diesel to petrol vehicles, with the share of diesel

fleet dropping by nine percentage points. In 2018, 60% of new cars were petrol, while diesels accounted for 36%, according to the EU.

It was also affected by changing consumer preferences, with buyers leaning toward larger and heavier sport-utility vehicles powered by petrol. Their market share rose to 35% in 2018 from 29%.

“New registrations of zero- and low-emission cars increased in 2018, but represented only around 2% of new car registrations, compared to 1.5% in 2017,” the commission said. Some 150,000 battery vehicles and 150,000 plug-in hybrid cars are on the road.

The average CO2 emissions of new vans were at 157.9g, increasing for the first time year-on-year. — Bloomberg