New cars in Germany becoming greener, but not green enough

Automotive Industry

Source: Clean Energy Wire, 2020-07-20

New vehicles in Germany are getting greener: average CO2 emissions of cars registered in the first half of 2020 were 4.4% lower than the same period in 2019, according a report by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Data from the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) shows that the 1.2m new cars emitted an average of 150.8 grams of CO2 per kilometer. All major brands showed an improvement, but the average figure is still well above the EU manufacturer target of 95 g/km by 2021.

German carmaker Opel improved the most, with its newly registered models emitting an average of 13.5% less CO2 than in 2019. Other German companies fared less well, with BMW seeing a fall of 9%, Mercedes 6.6%, Audi 5.6% and Volkswagen 4.8%. French firm Renault managed 11.4%, and has the lowest average CO2 emissions among its fleet (excluding electric carmakers) at 116.6 g/km. One in seven of its newly registered vehicles was electric.

The findings came as a survey for online comparison portal Check24 showed that 11% of people who are looking to buy a car want a purely electric vehicle – a rise of 4% in a year. A total of 13% said they wanted a hybrid, a 3% rise.

Vehicle emissions are a key target of Germany’s energy transition plans but they have remained stubbornly high in recent years despite the offer of large government subsidies on electric vehicles and tax incentives for low-emission cars. German carmakers, which have been slow to embrace electric vehicle technology, have been particularly bad offenders. The EU had set an intermediate target for CO2 emissions in a manufacturer's fleet of 130 grams per kilometer for 2015 and it is now widely expected that most firms will face huge fines for not meeting the 2021 target.


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