FRANKFURT -- Automakers selling cars in Europe did better than the European Union-mandated goal for CO2 emissions in 2015, an official report shows, but two - Ferrari and Aston Martin - face penalties for failing to hit their individual goals.
Four other automakers - Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Opel, Ford Motor and BMW will have to reduce emissions at a faster pace to meet the EU's CO2 reduction target for 2021 even though they met their 2015 goals, according to the European Environment Agency (EEA)
In its annual report, the EEA said new cars sold in the EU in 2015 emitted on average 119.5 grams of CO2 per km, 8 percent below their target of 130 g/km and a 3.1 percent decrease over the previous year.
"To meet their EU 2020/21 targets [of 95 g/km], the average CO2 emissions from new cars and vans will need to continue decreasing at a similar pace,” the EEA said in its report. “The majority of car and van manufacturers met their CO2 specific emission targets in 2015 and some are well on their way to reaching the 2020/21 target.”
FCA, Opel, Ford and BMW were cited as needing to deliver bigger emission improvements in the next five years compared with their progress rate to date.
A spokesman for Ford of Europe said it would meet its CO2 target by the end of 2021. "You are not going to have a linear improvement since annual fleet emissions are influenced by a number of factors including product cadence, the launch of new engines and other technological introductions,” he said.
While Opel was not immediately able to comment, BMW said the data from the EEA showed only a “snapshot” that should not be extrapolated into the future. It too pledged to fulfill all fleet emission targets in the future thanks to improving its three and four-cylinder combustion engines as well as rolling out more plug-in hybrids and battery electric cars. “In the coming years we expect a considerable increase in sales of electrified vehicles, and forecast a volume next year already of 100,000 vehicles worldwide,” the company told Automotive News Europe.
The Peugeot and Citroen brands, along with Renault and Toyota, are already very close to their 2021 targets. "They need to reduce their average emissions by less than 16 g/km in the next six years," the EEA report said.
Ferrari, Aston fines
Ferrari and Aston Martin will be fined by the EU for breaching their fleet emission targets for 2015, although the penalties will be negligible at less than 500,000 euros between both.
Using a formula that accounts for their excess emissions and the number of cars they register, Ferrari is due to receive a fine of 410,760 euros while Aston Martin will escape with just 36,370 euros, based on calculations from Automotive News Europe.
The EEA said Peugeot brand had the lowest emissions in 2015 at 104 g/km followed by Citroen and Renault, each with 106 g/km, and Toyota at 108 g/km. Jaguar Land Rover had the highest emissions average at 164 g/km.
Diesel and gasoline cars accounted for the large majority of the fleet at 97.2 percent of new registrations.
Diesel cars constituted the majority of the new registrations at 51.8 percent.
The proportion of plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles increased to more than 1 percent in 2015 from 0.8 percent in 2014. Nevertheless they have a big effect on fleet emissions. Renault was able to reduce its fleet emissions by 2 g/km with less than 2 percent of its fleet powered by electric batteries.
Other alternative fuel vehicles such as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and compressed natural gas vehicles covered the remaining registrations at 1.6 percent.
Diesel vehicles emitted on average 119.2 g/km, which was 3.3 g/km less than the average gasoline car even though diesel cars were on average 300 kg heavier, the EEA report said. In 2000 the emission difference between diesel and gasoline vehicles was much larger at 17.1 g/km.
Automakers selling cars in Europe are given a specific emissions reduction target as part of the EU's fight against climate change. Some can seek what is called a derogation should the number of cars they register remain below certain thresholds: 300,000 cars for a niche manufacturer and 10,000 for a small volume automaker, respectively. Others can elect to join a pool, which is often but not always the case for individual brands.
In the case of the Volkswagen Group, for example, its luxury brands Porsche, Audi and Bugatti are grouped under the manufacturer’s pool, while Bentley elected not to and instead received a small-volume derogation for 2015. Whereas Bentley came in below target, Porsche would have incurred a penalty having missed its own substantially. Fortunately for the sports car maker, other brands in its pool such as VW’s own namesake badge compensated by overachieving.
Last year’s figures are the first time that each carmaker’s full fleet is counted towards emissions. Previously under a phase-in, the bottom worst 20 percent were dropped from the calculation for 2014, for example.
- Download the European Environment Agency, above right