CO2 emissions from new vehicles in Europe continued to decrease in 2014

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News Published 26 Nov 2015 Last modified 06 Dec 2016
3 min read
Photo: © Axel Schwenke
Vehicles sold in the European Union in 2014 were, on average, 2.5% more efficient than those sold the previous year, according to a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA). The report, which updates the preliminary data published earlier this year, tracks progress towards CO2 emission targets for new passenger cars and vans.

According to the EEA report Monitoring CO2 emissions from passenger cars and vans in 2014, the average emissions of a new car sold in 2014 were 123.4 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre (g CO2/km), significantly below the 2015 target of 130 g CO2/km set for the EU as a whole. Similarly, the average emissions from vans sold in 2014 were 169.1 g CO2/km, below the 2017 limit of 175 g CO2/km.  Compliance with the EU fleet average targets is verified against the specific emissions targets set for each car and van manufacturer. The report shows that almost all manufacturers achieved their individual emissions targets set for 2014. 

Key findings

  • In 2014, 12.5 million new passenger cars and 1.5 million vans were sold. Of these, diesel vehicles remained the most sold vehicles in Europe, constituting 53% of car sales and 97% of van sales.
  • In 2014, an average diesel car emitted 123.2 g CO2/km, just 2.5 g CO2/km less than an average petrol car.
  • Renault, Automobiles Peugeot, Automobiles Citroen and Toyota Motor Europe continue to produce most of the lowest-emitting cars.
  • Of the individual car manufacturers, Renault had the lowest average CO2 emissions (108 g CO2/km) for new passenger vehicles registered in 2014. Renault also had the highest percentage of vehicles with emissions below 95 g CO2/km (34%).
  • Seventy percent of Toyota passenger vehicle sales in Europe were petrol cars with very low average emissions (110 g CO2/km).
  • Nissan has made the greatest improvement between 2013 and 2014. The average emissions from their passenger vehicles have decreased by almost 16 g CO2/km. This good performance relates to an increased number of electric vehicles in the share of new cars sold, as well as sales of smaller vehicles and the improved performance of conventional vehicles.
  • Of the larger van manufacturers, the Dacia fleet had the lowest average emissions
    (132 g CO2/km), followed by Peugeot (147 g CO2/km), Citroen (148 g CO2/km) and Renault (149 g CO2/km).


EEA activities

In accordance with current EU regulations ((EC) No 443/2009 for passenger cars and (EU) No 510/2011 for vans), the EEA collects data on all new vehicles registered in Europe and makes it available online. The data collected includes information on various parameters, including CO2 emissions and vehicle mass. Data is reported by all Member States in order to evaluate the performance of the new vehicle fleet towards the respective CO2 emissions targets. Air pollutant emissions, such as nitrogen oxides (NOx), are not addressed in this report. 

Future developments in vehicle emission measurements

The CO2 emissions reported to the EEA are based on exhaust measurements performed under standardised laboratory conditions, following the requirements of the New European Driving Cycle test procedure. This cycle allows a comparison of emissions by manufacturers, but it does not necessarily represent real-world driving conditions. A new procedure known as the ‘Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure’ (WLTP) has been developed so that laboratory results may in the future better represent actual vehicle performance on the road. However, the introduction date of this new procedure in the EU is not yet agreed.


Since finalisation of the EEA report and underpinning datasets, Volkswagen Group has publicly confirmed that the CO2 emission values it has published for some models are incorrectly stated. The company is presently reviewing which models are specifically affected. This report documents the latest official data submitted by Member States and vehicle manufacturers. However it is not possible to assess at this stage the extent to which incorrect data from vehicle manufacturers may alter the analysis and conclusions.



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