• Shift to SUVs holds back car CO2 reductions

    The EU has published new data showing a decline in the average CO2 emissions of new cars in 2010 of 3.7% (1). But the data also shows that the average weight of cars has risen by 28kg or 2% as carmakers increasingly market SUVs and so-called crossover vehicles (2). Had weight not increased, the CO2 reduction would have been 5%, or one third better say Transport & Environment (T&E), the EU sustainable transport campaigners.

    [mailchimp_signup][/mailchimp_signup]Heavier cars require more energy to move so burn more fuel. Fuel use and CO2 emissions are directly linked.

    Arne Richters, programme manager for clean cars at T&E said:
    “This report shows that cars are getting heavier again. After a drop in average weight linked to government subsidies which favoured cheaper, smaller cars, the SUVisation of the EU fleet is back. And that is no surprise as EU rules favour heavier cars by allowing them to emit more CO2. That needs to change. The EU should be favouring more efficient saloons, estates and hatchbacks rather than encouraging gas guzzling, tall and heavy SUVs. Promoting heavier cars is holding back CO2 reductions.”

    (1) https://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=MEMO/11/471&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en
    (2) SUVs’ share of the European market rose from 7 per cent in 2006 to 11.5 per cent last year, according to JD Power, the consultancy.