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EU Emission Targets For Passenger Cars

October 3, 2016

By Paul Homewood 




We have seen how Obama’s fuel efficiency directives have so far misfired.

In the UK, as well, we have similar targets. In our case, they are mandatory CO2 emission targets for new cars, imposed by the EU.

These targets began to be phased in from 2012, and so far run through to 2021.


Whether the EU’s highly bureaucratic measures, complete with penalties, credits and plenty of other things for overpaid busybodies to get involved with, will make the slightest difference is debatable.

According to DECC, motor manufacturers have been steadily improving fuel efficiency for donkeys’ years, without interference from the EU. And no doubt will continue to do so.



Top Line is Petrol Engined, Bottom is Diesel


Meanwhile, petroleum consumption, after dropping slightly following the financial crisis in 2008, has been creeping up again.

Given the large drop in petrol prices last year, it is highly likely we will see numbers for 2015 rising again.




The reality, which bureaucrats don’t seem to understand, is that when you make cars cheaper to run, people are more likely to drive them more. (Lower petrol prices obviously have the same effect).

  1. Graeme No.3 permalink
    October 3, 2016 7:17 pm

    The best approach to fuel efficiency is to load the vehicle up with a heavy weight of regulations. /Sarc (if necessary).
    The question that should be asked is what good do all these regulations and bureaucrats achieve at vast expense? The Volkswagen et al. ‘problem’ shows that all they do is divert ingenuity into getting around the prescribed hindrance. The EU is more likely to collapse before any benefit results.
    This is one unnecessary load of red tape that should be dumped with Brexit, along with a good deal more. Unfortunately the politicians think that more bureaucrats means progress so don’t hold your breath.

  2. tom0mason permalink
    October 3, 2016 8:25 pm

    More bureaucratic excess diverting effort from more worthy developments.

  3. October 3, 2016 9:40 pm

    ‘when you make cars cheaper to run, people are more likely to drive them more.’

    And more people will turn to car owning instead of other means of transport that use less fuel per person per mile e.g. bikes, scooters and public transport.

  4. daver permalink
    October 4, 2016 12:15 am

    Shameless cutnpaste from the UK’s primary green-propagandist broadcasting arm, 2013:

    ‘The Scottish government has said it wants the country’s towns and cities to be free of emissions from petrol and diesel vehicles by 2050.

    It has published a “roadmap”.

    Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown said the plans to replace petrol and diesel vehicles by 2050 were a “bold vision” that would require a “transformation in how we think about moving people and goods around.”

    He added: “This transformation is absolutely vital to achieve our ambitious climate change targets.

    It later emerged the roadmap was to be revised, after Transport Scotland conceded it had included mobility scooters in figures showing an increase in the number of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle registrations last year.

    The actual number was 235 – well below the figure of 1,000 initially claimed.’

    Probably just an inter-departmental / comms error thankfully now resolved.

    • Peter MacFarlane permalink
      October 4, 2016 8:26 am

      “Transport Scotland conceded it had included mobility scooters”


      But it’s serious, isn’t it: this how they deceive people. And it works.

    • Dave Ward permalink
      October 4, 2016 11:12 am

      “It has published a “roadmap””

      Which (presumably) will show all the charging points, and places where very long extension leads can be hired…

      • roger permalink
        October 4, 2016 2:28 pm

        First we need a roadmap around all the potholes that have proliferated in Scotland. Another hard winter and the roads in Scotland will resemble those in the third world.
        The ball is no longer in sight of poor Nicola in so many duties of government as she neglects the country whilst prostituting herself before the unelected Commissars in Europe.
        What a clown!

  5. RAH permalink
    October 4, 2016 12:21 am

    I never bought a vehicle based on mpg. Not even when prices were in the $4.00 per gallon range. I buy what I want or need based on various criteria and mpg has always been at the bottom of that list. But then again I live in the US where fuel is sold by the gallon and not the liter and I grew up in the age of street rods and muscle cars here in the US. Even as a kid my second car was a 1966 Corvair with a flat 6 boxer engine. During my 61 years have only had as my primary transportation one automobile that had a 4 cylinder engine in it and do not anticipate owning another.

  6. jamesg permalink
    October 4, 2016 7:41 am

    Contrary to your argument, fuel efficiency in Europe has come about due the pressure from ever-increasing fuel taxes, not from an industry-wide desire to do it. Cheap fuel on the other hand we know encourages people to buy gas guzzlers. Manufacturers mainly just want to sell what the public demands.

    And yes the bureaucrats understand perfectly that fuel efficiency encourages more car use which is why they kill that avenue off with ever-increasing fuel taxes. Alas that kills off growth too.

    • Billy Liar permalink
      October 4, 2016 11:41 am

      … and I thought the fuel efficiency in Europe came from the ever more stringent European Vehicle Emission Standards:

      • jamesg permalink
        October 4, 2016 1:42 pm

        Emissions controls are purely to reduce emissions. The first lot of EU/UK & California controls forced catalytic converters on us all which reduced efficiency.

  7. Peter MacFarlane permalink
    October 4, 2016 8:24 am

    Are the figures in that graph based on actual real life mpg numbers or on test results?

    • October 4, 2016 9:57 am

      According to decc :

      “Obtained under carefully controlled lab conditions.”

  8. Stonyground permalink
    October 4, 2016 2:22 pm

    I have a book about the 1950s Ford Prefect. These cars had a side-valve engine and three speed gearbox. A reproduced magazine article in the book gave the MPG at about 30 and this was considered to be impressive. My parents had one of these cars, it was small and was too slow to get out of its own way. My current car is a Saab 93 1.9 Turbo Diesel Estate. The thing is vast, has excellent performance and does between 45 and 50 MPG depending on use. the fuel tank range is about 600 miles. It has also done nearly 120,000 miles. This is the result of sixty odd years of progress, there really is no comparison. During the summer I cycle everywhere so I hardly ever have to put fuel in it.

    I would question the claim that public transport delivers better person miles per gallon. Trains maybe but buses are doubtful. A bus can carry more passengers than a car but that advantage is cancelled out by just about everything else. the vehicle itself uses more fuel, it does a lot of stopping and starting and it takes its passengers on long detours rather than going directly where they actually want to go.

    • Dave Ward permalink
      October 4, 2016 8:45 pm

      “A bus can carry more passengers than a car”

      And “advantage” which only applies at peak times anyway. The rest of the day (and evening) they trundle about nearly empty…

      • Stonyground permalink
        October 5, 2016 7:28 pm

        I was reluctant to use that particular argument because cars often travel with only the driver present. I suppose that a five seat car with one person in it would equate to a 50 seat bus with ten people in it. you would need to collect data on passenger numbers on buses to make the argument stand up.

        I am actually old enough, just, to remember what life was like before almost everyone had a car. People just didn’t go anywhere. I remember vans that were basically mobile shops. People were unable to travel to the shops so the shops came to the people. there was the bread van, the butcher’s van the fishmonger’s van, etc. etc. The highlight of the year was a coach trip to the seaside that was organised by the Methodist Church.

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