The best performing half of the new car market is now averaging 130g/km of carbon dioxide according to new analysis from JATO Consult, the new intelligence consultancy division of JATO Dynamics.
Only 39% of the top half of the new car market was averaging 130g/km CO2 in 2007 and just 24% in 2003.
However, with European Union targets now set to achieve 100% compliance by 2015, the industry must act swiftly to have a realistic chance of meeting this requirement within the six year time frame.
David Di Girolamo, business manager for JATO Consult, said: “Advances in vehicle technology are making significant inroads into reducing CO2 emissions.
“However, the requirements for the ongoing improvement in vehicle safety, as well as the increasing desire for higher levels of standard equipment are both factors that are at odds with reducing weight and, therefore, emissions.
"In the long term, government led consumer incentives to purchase lower emission vehicles will make the biggest impact.”
JATO’s report covers 21 countries, of which 19 are EU member states and studies volume-weighted CO2 emissions by country, segment and brand.
The report also reveals that countries that have introduced CO2 based taxation systems have generally witnessed the biggest reductions in emissions.
All the countries studied have reduced their volume-weighted average CO2 emissions in 2008, with the exception of rapidly evolving Slovenian market.
Many European markets have benefited from the increasing popularity of the small B-segment cars, which are among the most efficient in the market place.
SUVs witnessed a decline in popularity in the first nine months of 2008, a trend that should assist in the ongoing reduction in emissions. JATO suggests that SUVs currently account for 9.4% of the total of European new car emissions.
The report is available on www.jato.com/Consult and updates will be available throughout the year.