German automakers emit the most CO2 among European automakers

Transport and Environment, an environmental group based in Brusses, launched a report last Thursay showing that the average CO2 emissions from new cars made by German manufacturers rose in 2006, while French and Italian automakers actually cut emissions from their vehicles. In numbers: new German cars pollute 0.6 percent more than in 2005 while French and Italians reduced exhaust gases by 1.6 percent.

What these figures show is the big divergence between makers: German automakers have bigger cars, usually in the premium segments, while other European manufacturers have specialized in smaller, more efficient vehicles. For instance, Renault and Fiat used to have large sedans but haven't built them for a while because at that price, buyers were choosing a "premium" German brand. Citroën/Peugeot still makes big sedans, but they aren't star-sellers outside France for the same reason.

That being said, remember that the European Parliament is discussing legislation, due in December, to require average CO2 emissions under 120 g/km. Carmakers will be required to achieve 130 g/km with engine technology alone, while the use of biofuels will help lower that figure to the desired 120. Current targets, established by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, are 140 g/km for 2008.

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[Source: Transport and Environment (link is to a PDF file)]

The average car built in Germany currently produces 176 CO2 g/km, although BMW successfully lowered its figures from 188 to 184 g/km. The only actual manufacturer that will manage to reach the 140 g/km target is Peugeot/Citroën, by means of weight reduction.

Manufacturer 2006 CO2 emissions (g/km) % change from 2005
Toyota 153 .5.00%
Honda 154 -3.80%
PSA 142 -2.70%
BMW 184 -2.50%
Mazda 173 -2.00%
Nissan 168 -1.60%
Hyundai 167 -0.80%
Renault 148 -0.80%
Fiat 144 -0.50%
Ford 162 -0.50%
GM 157 -0.30%
Volkswagen 166 +0.90%
Suzuky 166 +1.80%
DaimlerChrysler 188 +2.80%

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