Scrappage scheme helps carmakers meet CO2 targets

Average CO2 output from new cars fell by 5.6 per cent in the UK in 2009, helped by the government's scrappage scheme, with two manufacturers beating the EU target figure for 2012.

Figures compiled by industry analyst Clean Green Cars put the average across the whole market at 149.8g/km in 2009, a record 8.9g/km less than the 158.70g/km achieved in 2008.

Toyota (127.9g/km) and Fiat (129.7g/km) both dipped below the EU target of 130g/km of CO2, based on a sales-weighted calculation (the CO2 output of each model multiplied by the number of those models sold in 2009) which has been set for 2012.

Responding to publication of the rankings, Toyota attributed its lead position to making one of the biggest improvements over the 2008 score, reducing CO2 output by 11.21 per cent, due to the introduction of Toyota Optimal Drive across the range and increasing sales of the new Prius. "Toyota's score is all the more remarkable as it includes sales of full size 4x4s and SUVs such as Land Cruiser and RAV4, not just a limited range of small family cars," the company said.

In terms of absolute tonnes of CO2 saved, Ford showed the largest reduction, with just over 30,000 tonnes saved in 2009. The calculation is based on an average saving per Ford of 7.61g/km multiplied by 316,000 sales in 2009, multiplied by the average mileage in the UK (13,000km).

However, Jay Nagley, publisher of www.cleangreencars.co.uk, gave a word of warning about these figures. "There was a very sharp drop in 2009 because the scrappage incentive encouraged buyers to move to smaller cars. We calculate that half the 2009 improvement was due to the scrappage scheme alone. In 2010 car manufacturers are going to have to improve the performance of their cars markedly if they are to record any further reduction in overall CO2."

The full tables can be seen at http://www.cleangreencars.co.uk/jsp/cgcmain.jsp?lnk=370

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