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Cleaner cars drive home industry progress on sustainability

Average carbon dioxide emissions from new cars have fallen by 13% since 1997, according to the SMMT’s latest CO2 report.

Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive, said: "Our latest CO2 report shows how far we have come, but also the challenges that lie ahead.

"Industry is bringing more new technologies to market. Encouraging consumers to embrace these and choose lower-CO2 emitting variants must be our priority. However, this is not a task for industry alone; car makers, government, fuel companies and new car buyers have a role to play in delivering lower carbon motoring."

Highlights from the report, which is available to download, include:

  • A 13% improvement in average CO2 reduction since 1997
  • 39.5% of new car market under 140g/km CO2 last year; just 3.9% in 1997
  • Band B emitting cars set to overtake Band G sellers for the first time in 2008
  • Diesel penetration at 40.2% in the UK; 26.5% in 1997
  • Diesel duty lower than petrol in all major European markets except the UK
  • Total CO2 emitted by cars has fallen 4.8% since 1997; 72.2 to 68.7 million tonnes
  • Government revenue from motorists up from £33.8 to £45.1 bn since 1997

    Everitt added: “We shall be working with the Government to help shape the new car CO2 regulation, emphasising the need for appropriate lead-times, fines that are closely aligned to the market price of carbon and with suitable incentives for innovation.

    “We will also be urging government to ensure that the diversity of the market and car manufacturing bases in the UK are protected.”

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