New vehicle registration figures released by ACEA this week prove that stronger EU intervention is required to shift the market.
In their February 2008 economic report, ACEA states the 4x4 segment saw a steady increase in demand (+22% in 2007 compared to 2006), accounting for 9.9% of new registrations in 2007 against 3.5% in 1998. Registrations of the cars emitting less than 120g of CO2 per kilometer have also risen and accounted for over 10% of the total EU new car registrations between January and October 2007.
Assuming that no 4x4 emits less that 175 gm/km CO2, we conclude that sales of 4x4's are offsetting any positive progress made by people who buy more fuel efficient vehicles under 120 gm/km CO2.
Road transport currently contributes over 20% of total CO2 emissions across Europe. Unless there is a strong incentive to shift or distort the vehicle market, there can be no real carbon reductions within the transport sector. Tough EU emissions targets for the car manufacturers, along with higher registration taxes for big gas guzzlers, and rewards for purchasing low-emissions vehicles, will help to move the market to meet it’s average target of 120gm/km CO2 by 2012.
Society is becoming increasingly aware and concerned about global warming. While people are switching to smaller and less polluting cars, the increased market for 4x4s is offsetting any progress.