CO2 increases as diesel decreases

New data has found that CO2 emissions from new cars in Europe rose last year, the first rise in a decade.

The analysis was carried out by JATO Dynamics and covered 23 European markets. It found that average CO2 emissions increased by 0.3g/km to 118.1g/km.

This rise in average CO2 emissions correlates with a decrease in demand for diesel cars across Europe – which produce lower CO2 emissions than petrol cars – and the rising popularity of SUVs, which emit higher average CO2 emissions.

With increased negative public perception towards diesels, combined with increased government regulation and scrutiny of the fuel type, the volume of new diesel cars fell by 7.9% to 6.77 million units (43.8% of total registrations).

Whilst demand for diesel cars declined in 2017, registrations of petrol cars increased by 10.9% – the highest level since 2003. This meant the market share of petrol vehicles grew from 47% to 50% between 2016 and 2017.

Alternative-fuelled-vehicles only experienced a small increase in volume. Despite the declining popularity of diesels, they increased their market share from three to five per cent.

The correlation between the decline in demand for diesel cars and the increase in CO2 emissions was most evident in Europe’s largest markets. Diesel demand fell by double-digits in Germany and the UK, and in France and Spain it fell by 5.4% and 8.1% respectively. As a result, average CO2 emissions increased in all of these car markets. Increased regulatory requirements, combined with higher costs for OEMs to make diesels cleaner, have helped cause this reduced demand for diesels and as a consequence increased CO2 emissions.