Making the world a cleaner place to live is something which affects us all.
Across Europe, targets have been set in order to bring the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) being emitted by cars down by 27% of its current guideline of 130g/km by 2020.
Already it seems to be a target that is within reach, as the current emissions are well within limits, currently standing at 118.5 grams of CO2 per kilometre.
Carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas – considered a significant contributor to the climate change happening across the world today.
Lowering the amount of this gas that we emit into the atmosphere is believed to go a long way towards benefitting the environment and ensuring a better life for generations to come.
Of all the sources of CO2, cars represent 12% of total emissions across the European Union, and by cutting the release of the gas from our cars, we can make a substantial impact to this environmental crisis.
CO2 is created when we burn the petrol or diesel in our engines. The more efficient the engine is, the less fuel it uses and thus a smaller amount of CO2 is made.
Car manufacturers are working tirelessly to improve fuel consumption and consequently lower emissions.
This work extends to the creation and constant development of alternative fuel systems, such as hybrid cars, fully electric vehicles and alternative fuels, such as hydrogen.
Of course, research and development is also continuing to improve the efficiency of engines using traditional fossil fuels.
In 2015, the targets were set to 130g/km. This was equivalent to a fuel consumption of 5.6 litres of petrol per 100 km, or 4.9 litres of diesel per 100km.
As of 2017 data, those targets have been met and improved upon, with current emissions reported to be 118.5g/km.
Since the monitoring started under current legislation in 2010, those emissions have decreased by 22g/km, representing a 16% drop.
It’s still quite a way to go before 2020. Targets for this next phase are set at 95g/km, which equates to fuel consumption of 4.1l/100km for petrol and 3.6l/100km for diesel.
Vans and other larger vehicles use more fuel and thus have larger levels of emissions. Consequently, they must meet their own set of emissions targets. The 2020 target for vans is 147g/km – or 5.5l/100km for diesel fuel consumption.
Legislation to cover heavy-duty vehicles had not been put in place in line with the more common cars and vans, however, as lorries, buses and coaches are responsible for around a quarter of the CO2 emissions in the EU, a decision was taken to put targets in place for those vehicles as well.
In May 2018, the first ever proposal was put forward for heavy-duty CO2 emission standards. It set out a proposal for a 15% lowering of emissions by 2025 (compared to 2019), and a 30% drop for 2030.
Other than the protection of the global environment, the act of cutting emissions has other benefits.
It helps contribute to the achievement of the EU’s commitments under the Paris Agreement, strengthens the competitiveness of the European automotive industry and will stimulate employment across the block, as well as reducing fuel consumption costs for all consumers.
Some other expected benefits include:
Overall, the work in lowering emissions is leading to better car design and a cleaner world – good for us all.