Immediate Press Release - 27th May 2014

5 out of 7 EU carmakers are on course to meet the EU fuel efficiency target set for 2021. However, BMW pulls up the rear and needs until 2024 to reach the target based on current data

An Taisce – The National Trust for Ireland, today [Tue 27 May] highlights the companies making the most efficient cars.

Ireland’s National Trust also draws attention to the carmarkers that are set to meet - and those due to miss - their commitments under EU legislation for emissions and fuel efficiency. The data is drawn from a report by Transport & Environment, a Brussels-based organisation, of which An Taisce is a member.

The two leading companies are European – Renault & Peugeot-Citroen - followed closely by Japanese firm Toyota.

The respective average CO2 emissions per km for the cars made by the top three firms (2013 data) are as follows:

  • Renault – 115g
  • Peugeot-Citroen – 116g
  • Toyota – 117g

However, EU rules are not based on absolute emission values but make allowances for car size and type. Under these rules, five out of seven European carmakers are on track to meet their CO2 targets by the 2021 deadline.

If they continue their pace of progress made in the past six years, Volvo, Toyota, Peugeot-Citroen, Renault, Ford and Daimler will all hit their targets early while VW and Nissan are on schedule.

On the other hand, if they don’t accelerate their current rate of CO2 reduction, Fiat will miss their target by one year (2022) and BMW by three years (2024).

Several Asian carmakers will have to increase their rate of progress to avoid missing their targets by several years: Suzuki (2023); Hyundai and Mazda (2025); Honda (2027). These companies have just announced a collaboration to improve the efficiency of engines by 30% by 2020.

This analysis does not include the fact that carmakers can use flexibilities in the law which make compliance easier, such as ‘supercredits’ for the amount of electric vehicles they will sell in 2021.

The findings contradict claims by the German industry that makers of larger cars needed more time to meet the 95g of CO2/km target. The data clearly shows that the ability of carmarkers to meet fuel efficiency standards depends on company strategies rather than the type and size of cars they produce.

CO2 emissions and fuel efficiency go hand in hand; a carmarker delivering good progress on CO2 will also be doing well on fuel efficiency.

An Taisce Policy Director James Nix said: "Most European carmakers are on course to reach the EU 2021 standards, irrespective of the size and type of vehicle they sell. However, BMW and Fiat need to step up their levels of innovation and investment to meet the targets, as do Asian firms Honda, Hyundai, Mazda and Suzuki”.

The report shows that Renault became the manufacturer of the lowest-carbon, most fuel-efficient vehicles in 2013. Volvo reduced the emissions of its fleet by 8%, the biggest annual reduction recorded last year.

In 2013, all European manufacturers achieved their 2015 targets at least two years ahead of schedule. These achievements contrast with carmakers’ claims at the time the law was being negotiated that, “A vehicle-related target of 130 grams CO2/km, as proposed by the Commission, is not feasible.”

The European Parliament now supports a target range for 2025 of 68-78g/km that the European Commission has a requirement to analyse. In April, EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard told the European Parliament it would consult on a 2025 target in May 2014, but this consultation has not yet happened. “The EU Commission needs to start the ball rolling for 2025; inaction will see Europe fall behind”, concluded James Nix.

Cars are responsible for 15% of Europe’s total CO2 emissions and are the single largest source of emissions in the transport sector. The EU’s first obligatory rules on carbon emissions require car manufacturers to limit their average car to a maximum of 130 grams of CO2 per km by 2015, and 95g by 2021.


For further information, please call:

James Nix, Policy Director, An Taisce Tel: +353 86 8394129 Charles Stanley-Smith, Communications Chair, An Taisce Tel: +353 87 2411995

email: [email protected]

An Taisce - The National Trust for Ireland


  1. The T&E report, now in its 9th edition, monitors the annual progress made by vehicle manufacturers to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of new cars, and is available on
  2. For further information on the report, please contact: Greg Archer, Clean Vehicles Manager, Transport & Environment (T&E) [email protected] P: +32 (0) 490 400 447 M: +44 (0) 7970 371 224