Fuel efficiency improvements of new EU cars slowing

Annual fuel efficiency improvements of new cars sold in the EU are gradually slowing. That’s according to a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA), which shows the average […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

Annual fuel efficiency improvements of new cars sold in the EU are gradually slowing.

That’s according to a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA), which shows the average emissions of new cars sold in 2016 were 118.1g CO2/km.

This is a 1.4g CO2/km (1.2%) reduction from 2015 and the smallest year-on-year improvement in the last decade.

Despite this, total emissions have still decreased by more than 22g CO2/km (16%) since 2010.

The report suggests annual improvements in vehicle efficiency need to significantly increase in the next five years to achieve the second average emissions target of 95g CO2/km by 2021.

New cars sold in 2016 emitted more than 23g CO2/km above this target.

A total of 14.7 million new passenger cars were registered, an increase of nearly 7% compared to 2015.

Sales of electric vehicles also increased at a significantly slower rate than in earlier years – around 64,000 electric vehicles were registered in 2016, 13% up on 57,000 sold in 2015.

Combined, electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles still only account for a small fraction of total sales, totalling 1.1% of all new cars sold in the EU, down from 1.2% in 2015.

Volvo has been lent €600m (£509m) for fuel efficiency research.