In Brief

Diesel fallout blamed for rise in new car CO2 emissions

Negativity around the fuel has pushed buyers towards petrol cars

Average carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions for new vehicles have risen for the first time in 14 years, as consumers opt to buy petrol cars rather than diesel versions. 

Data from the Department of Transport uncovered by the BuyaCar website reveal that average CO2 emissions for new cars “were 121.1g/km over the first ten months of 2017, and are on course to exceed the 120.3g/km recorded last year”, reports Auto Express

The rise in emissions is believed to be down to falling sales of diesel-engined vehicles, which produce less CO2 than their petrol counterparts. 

Car dealers sold 16% less diesels this year than they did in 2016, because of “tax rises, stiffer parking charges and threats of inner-city bans for diesel cars”, says the magazine.

The figures may cause headaches for carmakers and regulators, says Motor1, as the European Union has set an average emissions target of 95g/km by 2021. 

A DfT spokesperson said: “we will seek to maintain ambitious targets and our leadership position, and intervening firmly if not enough progress is being made.”

But British Vehicle Renting and Leasing Association (BVRLA) chief Gerry Keaney blames the Government’s negative attitude to diesel vehicles for the shift towards petrol cars, reports Motor1. 

Keaney said: “We currently have a poorly designed tax environment that encourages people to make their own arrangements rather than choosing a company car. This is putting older, higher-polluting grey fleet vehicles on our roads.”

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