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October 2018

Car pollution, CO2 drops to new lows thanks to new vehicle registrations

Editorial Staff - Autopromotec Observatory

In Italy, from 2008 to 2017, CO2 went from 144.3 g / km to 112.4 g / km. A positive result indeed when compared with the average trend in other EU countries. These figures, from Unrae source, emerge from data processed by the Autopromotec Observatory
In a period of ten years, from 2008 to 2017, taking into consideration new registrations, the average level of CO2 emissions in Italy has been consistently dropping. In fact, it went from 144.3 grams of CO2 per km in 2008 to 112.4 grams in 2017, which translates in a 22.1% reduction. These figures, from Unrae source, emerge from data processed by the Autopromotec Observatory, which is the research structure of Autopromotec, the most specialized international automotive equipment and aftermarket event. Hence, the result obtained in the last ten years in our country in terms of CO2 emissions from new cars can undoubtedly be considered positive. Even more when compared to the average trends in other EU countries. Looking at the graph prepared by the Observatory, in fact, from 2008 to 2017, the average value of CO2 emissions recorded in Italy from new vehicles, was consistently and significantly lower than the average EU value. Already back in 2008, CO2 emissions in Italy were slightly lower than the average European data (144.3 g / km against 153.6 g / km) and this trend lasted until 2017 (112.4 g / km against 118.5 g / km ). However, one major factor for this trend is that, historically, Italian motorists favour smaller cars with smaller engines compared to the rest of the continent. In fact, cars with smaller engine displacements have lower fuel consumption and, as a consequence, lower CO2 emissions.

Average CO2 emissions (g/km) on newly registered vehicles – Period 2008-2017

Returning to the graph, however, there is an aspect of no secondary importance that should be emphasized. Looking at the last two years, as can be seen from the trend of the curves, the average value of CO2 emissions on new cars sold in Italy kept declining, albeit at a slower pace. In the rest of Europe, on the other hand, the average value of CO2 emissions has actually increased by 0.4% (from 118.1 g / km in 2016 to 118.5 g / km in 2017, for the first time in 10 years). The reason, according to reports from the European Association of Car Manufacturers (Acea), is to be found in the declining sales of diesel cars and the consequent growth of petrol driven vehicles. Travelling the same kilometres, in fact, petrol cars produce a greater amount of CO2 than diesel cars. Therefore, although CO2 emissions, as a whole, have significantly decreased in ten years, the Autopromotec Observatory underlines that, to reach the 2021 target set by the European Commission of 95 g CO2 / km, car manufacturers will still be called upon to increase their efforts, investing in research and improving the performance and consumption of their vehicles especially the ones about to be launched on the market. Furthermore, since September 1, a new ban was imposed on vehicles failing to be approved following the new WLTP procedure, a system that allows a more accurate measurement of the levels of harmful and polluting emissions. Obviously technological developments in the field of alternative engines (electric, hybrid, natural gas, etc.) will also play a key role in containing consumption and emissions.

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