• Aug 4th 2011 at 5:59PM
  • 15
The fuel efficiency of European vehicles improved in 2010, with CO2 emissions falling by 3.7 percent, according to European Union (EU) data released last Wednesday.

The EU, home to some 500 million people, has set a target for cutting average CO2 emissions down to 130 grams per kilometer by 2015. Last year's results (average CO2 emissions of 140 g/km) put the EU on track to beat its 2015 target, despite extensive lobbying from automakers (sound familiar?) throughout Europe.

EU climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard, says that:
These data show again that setting targets stimulates the car industry to put greener cars on the market. These innovations also ensure Europe's car industry remains competitive in the changing global market.
The decreased emissions come despite the fact that the weight of the average vehicle sold in the EU rose by 62 pounds in 2010, which Arne Richters, a campaigner for Transport and Environment, says is "no surprise" since EU rules "favor heavier cars by allowing them to emit more CO2."

The EU's data shows that Portugal (129 g/km) led the way in terms of the lowest average CO2 emissions, while Sweden (153 g/km) and Germany (152 g/km) nearly tied for dead last.

[Source: TreeHugger | Image: bm.iphone – C.C. License 2.0]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 15 Comments
      Hans
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm well surprised that Sweden is rated so poorly. A large portion of cars and buses are run on E85 (bio ethanol from brazilian sugarcane and a steadily increasing share of domestic cellullosis from the wood industry). Has that not been weighed into the results at all? Or are the remaining Volvo's and Saab's spoiling this advantage?
        sandos
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Hans
        Firstly, the proportion of cars that are E85 are not that great afaik, and they also dont always use e85 but gasoline instead. Right now, and for some time though, e85 has been the cheaper option to use.
      Paul
      • 4 Years Ago
      Unsurprising. Sweden has an absolutely brutal VAT regimen on new vehicles, meaning a lot of people drive around in mid-late 90s jalopies, as opposed to the Southern states, where people are 'channeled' towards newer cars by emission-standards-based yearly vehicle tax. As for Germany, well, Autobahn, Mercedes/BMW/Audi ekcetra.....
      Jorge Pinto
      • 4 Years Ago
      Go Portugal! It's easy to understand why: - 95% (you read it right) turbo-diesels, which are pretty efficient - huge engine-capacity related taxes prior 2008 (any 2000cc would cost >35k€ then) - huge CO related taxes after 2008 (any 2000cc costs >30k€, but yearly any 150g/km is >100€/yr) - slow economy, very low wages, no reserves to buy big cars, it's common to own a +5yr - biblical-sense gas taxation. Liter of diesel @ 1,32€, a liter of 98 gas @ 1,49€. It tends to lighten your right feet But industry and electrical power generation matters 3 fold the transportation CO production... On electrical production Portugal is also very well placed (averages more than 18mins of renewables per hour), but on industry, I suspect it's below average, bit time.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 4 Years Ago
      sweden is cold. portugal has no economy and Connie, politicians deserve zero credit for improvements in car efficiency. the fear of peak oil and the electric car breathing down their necks made the douche car makers improve their wasteful cars a little bit. force or initiative is what govs should do. not pathetic target value. and this is way too little way too late. the coming years could be... interesting. second wave cometh.. should any of the politicians of the world read this you can ask me what should be done and I will tell you. if you are ready to act to avert the coming massive disaster as oil runs out.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Portugal has no economy. Are you kidding? See this chart where you can see how Sweden is a big polluter in transport sector. In this website you can select more variables. http://www.pordata.pt/Site/Workspace.aspx?ShortURL=70004
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 4 Years Ago
          it was a bit of an exaggeration. let's say smaller economy
          • 4 Years Ago
          The link does not show the chart. You must select "Static Chart" then select for example the 2008 year and only Transport sector.
        Marco Polo
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        "sweden is cold. Portugal has no economy DF's a troll. He has no relevance. Delusions of grandeur! Do really imagine anyone, anyone at all, would consider the advice of an idiot who has never made good on even the simplest of hundreds of inane boasts? Until you prove your IKEA claim, do everyone, including yourself, a favour and STFU.
      Guillaume Séguin
      • 4 Years Ago
      Targets are one thing, but the actual results are driven by petrol prices and co2 based motor taxes. As a result, consumers want more economical models, so manufacturers offering is going that direction (with a premium on the price). Everybody is (feels) happy.
      Ryan
      • 4 Years Ago
      So, is the greenest US state, still producing more CO2 than Sweden? Is the worst CO2 polluting state (I think it is Ohio) producing more CO2 than all of Europe?
      Marco Polo
      • 4 Years Ago
      Passenger cars contribute to 12% of man-made CO2 in Europe, according to 2004 figures from the European Commission concerning the EU-25. The share of transport is 26%, of energy plants 39%, of industry 16% and of households 19%. On a global scale, passenger cars emit 5% of man-made CO2, according to figures from the European Commission and the IPCC. Within that global share, the European passenger car fleet accounts for 2%. So the figures for 2011, show a disappointingly modest decrease which Arne Richters, a 'campaigner for Transport and Environment' claims is due to 'heavier' cars. In fact this is more likely to be due to the EU experiencing a vastly expanded population over the last seven years. Most of this expanded population is either new states, or immigrants who drive older second hand vehicles and drive more. Richter, like most environment 'campaigners' ignores the amount of environmental pollution created by shipping, or worse, propose ineffective and vague regulations that have no means of enforcement. If all the cars in Europe don't equal the amount of dangerous pollution created by 20 large container vessels, the obsession with small increments in car pollution, would seem to be like disciplining a spider monkey, while ignoring a 600lb Gorilla! While there is not doubt that the exhaust emissions from ICE road transport and coal/diesel fired power-stations are not beneficial to the health of Europeans, in has been difficult to actually prove a causal link to death. In contrast, 20-40,000 European deaths per annum can be forensically attributed to the adverse effects of bunker oil emissions.
      lne937s
      • 4 Years Ago
      For those of you wondering where the US compares. Our CAFE fuel economy standard is 27 mpg, which works out to 2.3 gallons of gasoline per 100 km. Converted to CO2 emission equivalent, it is 200g/km. http://www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/calculator.html#results Double the fuel economy, and it comes to 100g/km or the equivalent to what our 2025 standard would be if we didn't have all the exemptions and credits. In reality, adjusting for measurment standards, Portugal is now approximately where we hope to be in 14 years.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sweden has the lowest population density in Europe, with lots of people who drive long distances at high speeds, much like the upper Midwest. As a result they prefer larger vehicles for the long stretches of road, especially station wagons. They also own a good deal of 4x4's compared to the rest of Europe. Outside of Stockholm, Sweden is pretty damned spread out. I'm sure this has something to do with the kinds of cars they buy. Volvo (still hugely popular in Sweden) doesn't even make a city car, for example, but larger family cars. And strangely enough, they love old American cars there, especially large sedans from the 60s and 70s. It's where old American iron goes to die!
      • 4 Years Ago
      The sources from which the article was drawn have the critical word 'vehicle' referring to the CO2 emissions and Portugal's emission performance ranking.
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