Carmakers delaying more efficient models until 2019 to maximise profit, but most remain on track to meet 2021 CO2 targets – report.
Exclusive in-depth analysis:
• Only 6 of top 50 models were upgraded in 2017 – but 21 will be re-launched as more fuel-efficient, low-carbon models in 2019-2020
• Battery electric models are expected to increase five-fold to 100 by 2021, thus increasing driving-range, choice and competition
• Most European carmakers, but not Fiat, are set to meet EU’s 2021 CO2 reduction targets on time – in part by selling more plug-in vehicles
• Rising SUVs sales and increased power and performance are driving emissions increases
• CO2 impact of declining diesel sales is more than offset by lower-carbon vehicles
Carmakers are holding back sales of both electric cars and more fuel-efficient upgrades of their best selling models in Europe, new research shows. Almost all manufacturers will comply with the EU’s 2021 CO2 emissions reduction targets through a combination of selling more fuel-efficient and plug-in models and exploiting flexibilities in the regulation, green transport group Transport & Environment’s report, CO2 emissions from cars: The facts, finds. Only six of the top 50 selling models in Europe received a full model upgrade in 2017 and very few new plug-in cars were made available – undoubtedly contributing to the lack of progress in reducing car CO2 emissions last year.
Just four of the top-selling 50 models are set to be fully upgraded by the end of this year, followed by 14 in 2019, and seven in 2020. T&E said that seven upgrades per year is typical for the top 50 selling models. This tactic of continuing to sell old models for as long as possible makes it clear that carmakers are both optimising profits and trying to deceive regulators that they will struggle to hit the 2021 CO2 targets as the EU ponders new targets for 2025. But the price is being paid by car buyers – for whom more fuel-efficient models are not yet available – and by the planet as CO2 emissions from cars and vans continue to rise.