2009 Toyota iQ - Click above for high-res image gallery
Toyota is the cleanest automaker in the UK. This is the finding of Cleangreencars, which calculated that Toyota has the cleanest average lineup, taking into account CO2 emissions averaged with car sales. Toyota achieved this figure by stopping sales of three models – the MR2, the Previa and the Celica – and by adding a new small model, the iQ. Toyota's average went from 144.82 g/km to 129.15 g/km in the first nine months of 2009, reaching levels required by EU legislation. In Toyota wake, the UK's cleanest manufacturers are Fiat, Mini (last year's winner) and Hyundai. Overall, CO2 emissions for the average new car fell by 5.5 percent. The current average for all cars sold is 150.6 g/km, an impressive 8.8 g/km drop from a year ago. Read more in the press release after the jump.
CO2 output falls thanks to scrappage scheme
Toyota is first manufacturer* to meet EU target figure.
* Average new car CO2 fell by 5.5% in the first nine months of 2009
* The average for the Year to Date is 150.6 g/km; that's a record 8.8 g/km less than a year ago.
2008 YTD Sept average CO2 g/km: 159.31
2009 YTD Sept average CO2 g/km: 150.56
The current rate of improvement would enable the car industry to meet the EU target of 130 g/km of CO2 by 2012. In fact one manufacturer has just dipped below that all-important figure in the UK: Toyota has dropped to 129.2 g/km, leapfrogging both Mini and Fiat, who are hovering just above the 130 g/km threshold.
"It is highly significant that a major manufacturer has met the EU target, as it means no mainstream car manufacturer has an excuse for failing to meet the target in future." commented Jay Nagley, Publisher of www.cleangreencars.co.uk.
Toyota's performance stems from three actions it has taken over the last few years:
* It made the unusual decision to drop three models from its UK line-up that had higher emissions – the MR2, the Previa and the Celica. That was done with the specific goal of reducing average CO2. At the same time it increased the range of its small cars – e.g. the new iQ
* The Toyota Optimal Drive system has reduced emissions across the range
* The Prius hybrid (particularly the latest version) has made a small, but noticeable difference to the average CO2 figure.
Amongst other manufacturers to make significant gains are Hyundai, now with the fourth lowest average emissions in the UK (134.4 g/km) and Audi, which has cut emissions by 9.6% to 158.2 g/km and is now one place behind BMW (154.7 g/km).
In terms of absolute tones of CO2 saved, Ford continues to have the largest reduction, with just over 10,000 tonnes saved on an annualised basis - mostly thanks to the more economical new Ka and Fiesta. This figure is calculated by taking the average reduction per Ford sold (8.66 g/km) and multiplying by the average mileage in the UK (13,000 km) and then by the total number of Fords sold this quarter (89986 units).
While the industry can congratulate itself on these figures, there is a dark cloud inside the silver lining. Once scrappage incentives come to an end, CO2 figures will start to rise unless the industry works very hard to maintain progress. Politically, it would be very difficult for the industry to explain why its CO2 figures are going up just as EU targets come into force.
* defined as manufacturers whose range includes four seat models, not just two seat city cars.