According to provisional monitoring data published by the European Environment Agency, the average CO2 emissions of new cars registered in the EU, Iceland, Norway and the UK in 2020 have decreased strongly compared to 2019, as manufacturers were stepping up their efforts to raise the share of electric vehicles in their fleets.
The provisional data shows that the average carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, measured in laboratory tests, of the 11.6 million new passenger cars registered in 2020 in the EU, Iceland, Norway and the United Kingdom decreased by 14.5 g CO2/km (-12%) compared to the average emissions of new cars registered the previous year, i.e. from 122.3 g CO2/km in 2019 to 107.8 g CO2/km in 2020. This is by far the greatest annual decrease in emissions since CO2 standards started to apply in 2010.
The main reason for this sharp decrease of CO2 emissions was the surge in the share of electric vehicle registrations, which tripled, from 3.5% in 2019 to over 11% in 2020 (including 6% full electric vehicles and 5% plug-in hybrid electric vehicles). Despite the shrinking overall market for new cars due to the COVID-19 pandemic, also the total number of electric cars registered in 2020 increased, up to over 1 million.
This significant step forward is the result of the phase-in of a stricter EU-fleet wide CO2 target in 2020. In addition, it shows the effect of the targeted recovery measures put in place by Member States, stimulating the uptake of zero- and low-emission vehicles and investments in recharging infrastructure.
The average CO2 emissions of the 1.4 million new vans sold in the EU, Iceland, Norway and the United Kingdom in 2020 were 155.7 g CO2/km, which is a slight improvement (by 2.3 g CO2/km) compared to 2019. Limited progress was made as regards electrification of vans, with the market share increasing from 1.4% in 2019 to around 2.3% in 2020 (including 2.2% full electric vehicles and 0.1% plug-in hybrid electric vehicles).
The Commission has invited vehicle manufacturers to notify any errors identified in the dataset within the next three months. The Commission shall consider any such notifications and either confirm or amend the provisional calculations, based on the final data to be published by the European Environment Agency. This final data set will be the basis for the Commission to determine manufacturers’ compliance with their specific emission targets and for determining the premium in case of excess emissions.
- Publication date
- 29 June 2021
- Directorate-General for Climate Action