Average CO2 emissions from new passenger cars registered in Europe have fallen steadily in recent years: year-on-year by 12% in 2020, 12.5% in 2021 and 5.3% in 2022. The main driver of reductions is the surge in electric vehicle registrations, which reached 23% of the EU new car fleet in 2022. All but one of the individual car manufacturers and pools met their binding targets in 2022.

Figure 1. Average CO₂ emissions from new passenger cars and future targets

Emissions from transport account for one quarter of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions. To achieve climate neutrality, the European Green Deal calls for a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from transport by 2050.

Regulation (EU) 2019/631 set a fleet-wide target of 95g CO2/km for the years 2020-2024 for new passenger cars, based on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) emission test procedure. This is equivalent to 115.1g CO2/km when using the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). Since 2021, the specific emission targets for manufacturers, either individually or organised in pools, are expressed on the basis of the WLTP, which results in higher emission values than the NEDC. This is illustrated in Figure 1.

To help achieve the EU’s climate targets, from 2025 onwards, stricter EU-wide fleet targets (WLTP) will apply: 93.6g/km until 2029 (15% reduction compared to the 2021 baseline), 49.5g/km from 2030 to 2034 (55% reduction) and 0g/km from 2035 (100% reduction).

Compared to 2021, 2022 saw the average CO2 emissions of new registered passenger cars fall by 5.3% to 108.1g CO2/km. The main reason for the reduction is the growing share of electric vehicle (EV) registrations, which increased from 19% in 2021 to 23% in 2022, divided between 13.5% full electric and 9.5% plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Norway, Sweden and Iceland had the largest percentage of electric vehicles in their new car fleets (89%, 58% and 56% respectively).

Still, petrol cars continued to be the most sold fuel type in 2022, constituting half of all new registrations, while diesel cars accounted for 19%.

Figure 2. Average CO₂ emissions of pools of car manufacturers

Specific emission targets are set annually for each manufacturer or a group of vehicle manufacturers that act together as a pool. These targets are based on the average mass of the manufacturer's or pool's new vehicle fleet in a given year. This means that manufacturers of heavier cars have higher emissions targets than manufacturers of lighter cars. Manufacturers that are responsible for fewer than 300,000 newly registered cars per year may benefit from a derogation.

In 2022, 90 out of 91 manufacturers - individual or pool members - met their binding target. Only one individual manufacturer (Bugatti), responsible for fewer than 10 new vehicles registered in Europe in 2022, exceeded its emission target.

Tesla-Honda-Jaguar Land Rover pool had the lowest average CO2 emissions in 2022 (49.9g CO2/km). Followed by Kia with average emissions slightly below 100g CO2/km and Hyundai, Stellantis, Renault-Mitsubishi and BMW with average CO2 emissions between 100 and 105g CO2/km. This is illustrated in Figure 2.

Among individual manufacturers with more than 300,000 registrations in 2022, PSA Automobiles SA achieved the lowest average CO2 emissions (94.1g CO2/km), followed by FCA Italy SPA (95.3g CO2/km).