27 August 2008

The average fuel economy of BMW cars sold in 2007 improved by an impressive 7.3% compared to 2006, according to a report by a Brussels-based environmental group Transport and Environment (T&E). CO2 emissions in BMW cars were reduced from 184 g/km in 2006 to 170 g/km in 2007.

Other companies that made notable improvements in CO2 emissions include Hyundai (-3.9%) and Daimler (-3.5%, largely due to the de-merger with Chrysler).

However, the average improvement for all cars sold in the EU was just 1.7% (ACEA:-1.6%; JAMA:-1.4%; KAMA:-2%). This is more than last year’s all-time low of 0.7%, but still not enough to meet climate targets. The industry average CO2 emission in 2007 was 158 g/km (ACEA:157 g/km; JAMA:159 g/km; KAMA:161 g/km).

Faced with the slowing CO2 reduction progress under the existing voluntary agreements with the car industry, last year the European Commission proposed a mandatory CO2 emission regulation that would bring the average CO2 emissions from new cars to no more than 130 g/km by 2012.

According to the proposal, each company would receive its own target, based on the average weight of its vehicles in a given year. The industry is also arguing for ‘flexfuel’ cars—those that can run on both biofuels and conventional fuel—to be considered as low CO2 models, but a growing uncertainty exists about the environmental impact and life-cycle CO2 emissions of biofuels.

The European Parliament’s Environment Committee is scheduled to vote on the car CO2 law on 8-9 September.

The T&E report is based on official EU monitoring data obtained by T&E under laws granting access to official documents. The data refers to EU15 plus Hungary, Lithuania and Slovenia (the other nine Member States had not yet submitted their data).

Source: Transport and Environment