German Car CO2 Up

German-made cars have seen their CO2 emissions go UP according to a report from the European Federation for Transport & the Environment (T&E) whereas French, Italian and Japanese car manufacturers saw their vehicles' emissions go DOWN.
T&E says that the figures for 2006 when compared to 2005 show that French, Italian and Japanese CO2 emission figures actually dropped by an average of 1.6% whereas the German cars' emissions increased by 0.6%.

Now this may not be a massive increase but it's ironic that the country that has been most influential in pushing for climate change targets should be the country whose car manufacturers seem to be doing the opposite.

Let's be fair here, it's not all German car-makers who are at fault. BMW have actually reduced their cars' emissions by 2.5% whereas it's Volkswagen whose emissions have gone up, by just 0.8%, and Daimler-Chrysler (Daimler) have seen their emissions rise by a nasty 2.8%!

The report indicates that weight is an issue with vehicle emissions and that weight-saving has reduced CO2 output whereas the heavier cars have seen an increase.

You can read the full report "Study reveals increasing climate divide between
Europe's carmakers"

Japan is making very good progress with Toyota in particular singling out praise for cutting around 5% on their vehicles' emissions.


Actually, the EURO IV and EURO V emission standards may also be to blame here. These standards aim to reduce a whole series of pollutants that contribute to poor air quality and danger to public health - it does not target CO2 directly. In fact in many cases to reduce other pollutants means increasing CO2.

Germany runs a considerably high percentage of diesels where japan doesn't. You'll notice that most if not all european models have diesel engine options whereas many japanese (especially smaller models) have only petrol options.

If I were to replace my current 4 year old 2.5Tdi pickup truck with a new EURO IV compliant one I would see my CO2 emissions rise by 35% despite the vehicle weight being identical, the engine being almost identical and only marginal improvements in fuel economy.

This would also mean that once the light commercial sector switches to the same road tax banding system as the cars (A-G) rather than the curent fixed price I would see my new vehicle banded as a G where my current one is the equivalent of an F. Oddly enough though, the government is proposing giving a discount on road tax to those switching to the new EURO V engined vehicles (and already gave discount for EURO IV) despite them producing more CO2 than the vehicles they replaced......

Seems to me that the various Government departments and environmental bodies are not communicating very well with each other, we have mixed or contradictary messages and the result is simply chaos. The general public is left paying ever increasing taxes with no obvious benefits to either environment, traffic congestion or public health.