Fleets need to keep a constant watch on new model developments when planning their future choice lists as manufacturers continue investing in ever more efficient technology.
A number of them, including Seat, Skoda and Mazda, have dropped off the pace in terms of meeting their 2012 CO2 objectives, according to data published by the European Environment Agency (EEA). They will be among the ones to step up investment over the next couple of years – or face hefty fines.
However, the data also reveals that almost all manufacturers must reduce emissions further to meet 2015 targets.
From this year, European emissions targets come into play for the first time (see table) as stage one on the road to the 2015 target of an average CO2 emissions output for each manufacturer of 130g/km for all new cars registered.
Five years later, the target falls to 95g/km, with a further reduction to 70g/km by 2020 suggested. Road transport is responsible for 17.5% of greenhouse gas emissions in Europe and has risen by 23% from 1990-2009.
However, John Lewis, chief executive of the BVRLA, paid tribute to the part the UK fleet industry has played in driving down emissions.
“The fleet market is leading the way on CO2 emissions thanks to the taxation system and the progress manufacturers have made,” said Lewis.
“I was talking to a fairly major leasing company recently and its order bank is running at a
CO2 average of 121g/km.”
The target is being phased in from 2012, based on 65% of the manufacturer’s greenest cars in 2012, rising to 75% in 2013 and 80% in 2014. From 2015, all new cars registered by each carmaker will be taken into account.
Specific emission targets –expressed as an amount of CO2 per kilometre – are assigned to each car manufacturer depending on the average mass of the fleet. A manufacturer producing on average larger new cars has a higher target.
That means the likes of Volvo, Audi and BMW will have a higher CO2 target than the likes of Fiat, Seat and Mazda.
Fines for failing to meet the target, also known as ‘excess emissions premiums’, will be calculated on a progressive scale for each additional gramme of CO2 above the target, multiplied by the number of cars sold.
The EEA confirmed this will equate to €5 (£4) per vehicle registered for the first g/km a manufacturer exceeds its target by, rising to €15 (£13) for the second g/km, €25 (£21) for the third g/km and €95 (£80) for each subsequent g/km.
For example, if a manufacturer registers 100,000 vehicles in the EU and misses its target by 0.5g/km, it would face a fine of €250,000 (£210,000); exceed it by 3.5g/km and it faces a fine of more than €9 million (£7.5m).
“Today people use many forms of transport, but cars still represent a big part of everyday life,” said EEA director Jacqueline McGlade.
“Most car manufacturers have already met their individual 2012 targets. However, several need to continue their current trend of year-on-year efficiency improvements.”
An EU study assessing the feasibility of achieving a 2020 limit of 147g/km for vans will be published in the summer.