Renault may be trailing sister company Nissan in electric-vehicle sales, but when it comes to cutting light-duty vehicle emissions across Europe, the French automaker is front and center. And it's celebrating that fact.

Last year, Renault became the first vehicle maker to have fleetwide emissions of less than 115 grams of CO2 per kilometer for a full year and reduced its emissions by nine percent in the process. The company noted that five of its models emit less than 100 grams of CO2 per kilometer: Twingo, New Clio, Captur, Mégane and Dacia Sandero. And that list doesn't include the company's electric vehicles. Impressively, the diesel-powered New Clio cut emissions by more than 20 percent from its previous incarnation.

The news is good for a company that's often overshadowed by Nissan and it's popular Leaf EV. Last July, the Renault-Nissan Alliance said it had sold more than 100,000 EVs during the previous three years, but the Leaf accounted for more than 71 percent of that figure. As you can see, that means the one Nissan model sold more than Renault's EV - the Kangoo Z.E., the Zoe, the Twizy and the Fluence Z.E. - combined.

In 2012, the European Commission (EC) proposed reducing fleetwide greenhouse-gas emissions by about 30 percent from 2011 levels by 2020, down to a fleetwide average of 95 grams of CO2. By its current rate of improvement, Renault could reach that level by 2015, and you can read more Renault's press release below.
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Renault group, number one in europe for low co2 emissions

Renault Group has become the European leader in terms of low CO2 emissions, and first automotive group under 115g CO2//km, based upon its sales of passenger cars over the full year 2013. This ranking is the fruit of the rejuvenation of its range, the success of its Energy range of engines and its electric vehicle sales.

Renault Group has moved into pole position in Europe in terms of low CO2 emissions, with an average of 114.7g of CO2/km* per vehicle (source: AAA-DATA**) based on its passenger car sales over the full year 2013.

Renault Group owes this performance to the recent rejuvenation of its ranges, notably including five models that return less than 100g of CO2/km (Twingo, New Clio, Captur, Mégane and Dacia Sandero). Indeed, in the small five-seater diesel car sector, New Clio Energy dCi 90 eco² is the class leader with 83g/km. Overall, the New Renault Clio range emits 18.5g of CO2/km less than the model's previous generation.

Meanwhile, RENAULT electric vehicle sales have also contributed significantly to the Group's low average CO2 emissions.

Taken as a whole, the average level of CO2 emissions per kilometre across Renault Group's entire range has improved by nearly 11g in 2013 over 2012, falling from 125.5g/km to 114.7g/km.

"This position of market leader is proof that the combination of our powertrain strategy – with our range of Energy engines – and our electric vehicle strategy is bearing fruit. Thanks to these innovations, Renault Group is achieving tangible results and maintaining its objective to significantly reduce the long-term environmental footprint of its activities. At the same time, these improvements are beneficial for both the planet and our customers." (Jean-Philippe HERMINE, Director, Renault Group, Environmental Plan)

* The average homologated NEDC combined-cycle CO2 emissions of Renault Group passenger cars registered during the full year 2013 across 23 EU nations (all countries except Cyprus, Malta, Romania and Bulgaria).
** Figures obtained from AAA-DATA (Association Auxiliaire de l'Automobile), a subsidiary of CCFA. AAA-DATA is an organisation that collates automotive industry data for authorities.

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