Ireland leaps to 7th best in EU, up from 14th, as more efficient cars sell better, according to Transport & Environment report

The main findings of Transport & Environment’s 2013 cars and CO2 report pertaining to Ireland are:

Ireland is now 7th best in the EU for having the lowest fuel consumption and emissions for new cars sold in 2012. This reflects well on Ireland's CO2-differentiated VRT and proves that the reforms of 2008 and 2011 are paying dividends. Ireland was ranked 14th best in the EU based on 2011 sales. Ireland recorded a 2.6% improvement in CO2 emissions for new cars sold in 2012 compared to 2011. BMW, which is lobbying vociferously in an attempt to delay EU reform on car emissions targets, still has much to do to make the 2020 target of 95g/km CO2. In contrast, Toyota, Volvo and Daimler appear to be well on track to meet the 2020 target Good car manufacturers are well able to meet the 2015 and 2020 targets without resorting to accounting tricks such as 'supercredits' for electric vehicle sales, or the manipulation of test results.

Good car manufacturers in Europe can easily meet targets to reduce CO2 emissions, Transport & Environment’s 2013 cars and CO2 report says. The report monitors the annual progress made by vehicle manufacturers to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of new cars. The data shows that both premium and mainstream carmakers are on track to hit their 2015 and 2020 targets. The report also finds that good carmakers do not need loopholes such as supercredits and manipulation of test results, which effectively weaken the targets, to meet their CO2 limits.

Since 2006, T&E’s report ‘How Clean are Europe’s Cars’ has been assessing carmakers’ efforts to cut CO2 emissions. Following the introduction of this law the annual rate of progress has tripled to 3.6%. The clear conclusion is that the targets are achievable for makers of all types and sizes of cars with appropriate planning.

Progress on reducing CO2 emissions from new cars after 2015 is being undermined by Germany's efforts to force generous supercredits for selling electric cars into the new regulation. With enormous pressure piled on by car luxury brand, BMW, the German government is calling for additional allowances that permit electric cars with no emissions to be counted multiple times; in truth BMW, through Germany, is asking the EU to enter a make-believe world, a kind of car-accounting wonderland that tries to turn fiction into fact.

The report found that supercredits awarded to Nissan for selling just 2,800 electric cars[1] in 2012 effectively reduced its target by 2g/km. If the current trend of increasing sales of electric vehicles continues, supercredits would totally undermine the 95g/km target and result in it being met on paper but not on the road.

T&E clean vehicles manager Greg Archer said: "With appropriate planning Europe's carmakers will meet their fuel efficiency targets without resorting to accountancy tricks like supercredits. The generous supercredits, that Germany is advocating, will increase both emissions and drivers’ fuel bills. European countries must hold firm on the 2020 deal struck in June."

The report also highlights a growing disparity between fuel economy measured in tests and that achieved by drivers on the road. On average for all carmakers, more than half of the progress on CO2 has not been replicated on the road. For example, since 2006 BMW has achieved a 23% improvement in fuel efficiency in tests though data shows its cars have only improved by 9% on the road.

Greg Archer added: “Some carmakers are choosing to meet their targets by manipulating official tests and fitting technology that delivers little benefit on the road. Yet the report shows other carmakers, like Peugeot-Citroën and Toyota, are making excellent progress in reducing emissions without resorting to these tricks. All carmakers should focus on making lower carbon, more efficient cars instead of relying on loopholes to meet their goals.”

Further information regarding Ireland –

James Nix – 00 353 86 83 94 129

Eoin Bannon - +32487717296


For further information, please call:

James Nix, Policy Director, An Taisce Tel: +353 86 8394129

Charles Stanley-Smith, Communications, An Taisce +353 87 2411995

Email: [email protected]

An Taisce The National Trust for Ireland

Notes to Editors:

Transport & Environment - Campaigning for smarter, greener transport in Europe Established in 1990, Transport & Environment is the leading NGO voice on smarter and greener transport policies at the EU level in Brussels. Transport & Environment’s report: How clean are Europe’s cars?o2 targets