The European Commission has released details of proposals to further reduce average CO2 emissions from new cars and vans by 2020.
The EC claims the latest targets for emissions will pass on savings to car drivers.
Reduction in CO2 emissions
The plans for a reduction in the average emissions of new cars will see CO2 reduced from the current 136g/km, set in 2011, to a proposed 95g/km in 2020. Manufacturers will also have to meet a mandatory interim target of 130g/km, due to come into force in 2015.
Van and other light commercial vehicle builders will have to cut emissions over the same period, too – the current level of 181g/km CO2 will be adjusted to a compulsory 175g/km by 2017.
The changes have already been written into existing legislation, and the only thing awaiting confirmation is how the reductions will be made.
Savings to drivers
According to the EC, each new car conforming to the latest regulations will save owners roughly €340 (around £270 at today’s exchange rate) in fuel costs over the first 12 months of ownership compared with a car conforming to the 2015 target of 130g/km CO2.
Over an EC estimated 13-year life span for a car, a total of between €2,904 to €3,836 – around £2,295 to £3,032 – would be cut from owner’s fuel bills.
Sliding tax scale
Car tax (VED) in the UK is currently based on a sliding scale according to the emissions a vehicle produces. So a cut in average CO2 output it will also benefit UK motorists through savings on car tax.
Currently, cars emitting 100g/km CO2 or less pay no car tax and are exempt from the London Congestion Zone charge.
However, it is thought that a drop in average vehicle emissions could force a rethink of the vehicle taxation system in the UK.