Average CO2 emissions from new cars in the EU dropped by almost four per cent last year, the second biggest annual fall recorded, a database published by the European Environment Agency shows.
Climate action commissioner Connie Hedegaard said: "These data show again that setting targets delivers results and stimulates the car industry to put greener cars on the market. These innovations also ensure that Europe's car industry remains competitive in the changing global market."
The European Environment Agency published provisional data on average CO2 emissions from new passenger cars sold in the EU in 2010, showing a 3.7 per cent drop compared to last year. This is the second largest annual decline since the monitoring scheme began in 2000. The data is now available to car manufacturers for review before formal validation by the commission.
Last year's improvements bring the average CO2 emissions of cars registered in the EU to 140 grams per km. At this rate the European target of 130g CO2/km will be met earlier than the 2015 deadline. The decrease in average emissions in 2010 was lower than in 2009 (5.1 per cent ); the results in 2009 were probably influenced by the economic crisis and the scrappage schemes in some member states.
The average engine capacity of the cars sold in 2010 slightly increased compared to 2009. Also the average weight of cars rose considerably after the sharp decrease we saw in 2009 and is now back at the level seen in the years prior to the economic crisis. However, average CO2 emissions per kilometre travelled were cut thanks to improved vehicle technology and fuel efficiency.
Alternative fuel vehicles were also monitored. Last year about 13,000 flex-fuel vehicles and 700 electric vehicles were registered in the EU.