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New car emissions drop in 2006

The average new car sold last year emitted 167.2g/km, a reduction of 1.3% on 2005, according to carbon dioxide figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

A more detailed report into average emission levels will be published by the SMMT in the spring. However, SMMT's data team has split the top-line figure into private and fleet sales, listed in the table below.

“Market transformation is not just about bringing new technology to the showroom”, said SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan.

“It's about encouraging consumers to think carefully about their choice of vehicle, providing incentives where needed and ensuring alternative fuels are widely available and competitively priced.

“Take E85 bioethanol for example. Mainstream bioethanol cars are on the market now, yet there are only a dozen or so filling stations across the UK. Plus, it's no cheaper at the pump for drivers.

That makes no sense. We need to work together in partnership with government, fuel companies and customers to address this,” Macgowan added.

The SMMT is calling for the Government to end the 3% company car tax surcharge on new diesel cars. Reductions in the fleet sector slowed to just 0.6% last year and the SMMT believes the 'diesel disincentive' is one of the reasons why the UK still lags behind the rest of Europe on diesel market penetration (38.3% v 50.6% in 2006).

“This thing we call an integrated approach is not about empty words; we are calling for practical measures, based on the principle that working together will deliver the greatest benefits for the environment, without crippling the European car industry with unrealistic targets and disproportionate costs. This approach was endorsed by the European CARS21 group last year and we in the UK fully support it,” concluded Macgowan.

Average new car CO2

Average Average Average
2006 v 2005 2006 v 1997
2006 2005 1997
All new cars 167.2 g/km 169.4 g/km -1.3 % 189.8 g/km -11.9 %
Average Average Average
2006 v 2005 2006 v 2001
2006 2005 2001
Private cars 168.7 g/km 172.3 g/km -2.1 % 176.4 g/km -4.4 %
Fleet cars 166.0 g/km 167.1 g/km -0.6 % 178.8 g/km -7.1 %

(Note: CO2 market data for 'all new cars' available from 1997, earliest data for private / fleet split 200)

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