European Environment Agency (EEA) data issued earlier this week confirmed that CO2 emissions from new passenger cars rose for the second year running in 2018, up 1.6% on 2017. Last year was also the second year when petrol cars were the most sold fuel type, further expanding their market share while sales of diesel-fuelled cars continued to decline. New vans also recorded an increase in CO2 emissions (+1.3%) for the first time since records began.

8.5 million new petrol cars were sold last year, up from 7.6 million in 2017, according to data from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA). In 2018, 5.4 million new diesel cars were registered, representing a drop of 1.2 million cars compared to the previous year. At the same time, just under 302,000 electrically-chargeable cars were sold in 2018.

Clearly, there is a correlation between diesel/petrol sales and CO2 emissions. This is because petrol cars emit more CO2 than equivalent diesel cars.

Under the current scenario, the prospect of fines for not reaching the 2020/2021 CO2 target is, to a varying degree, a ‘serious concern for car makers’, says ACEA.

ACEA has urged the 28 EU member states to step up investments in charging points for electrically-chargeable vehicles and refuelling stations for other alternatively-powered cars, putting in place meaningful and sustainable incentive schemes to encourage more consumers to buy them.