Car makers are being forced to make significant cuts in their vehicles’ CO2 emissions, but some countries appear reluctant to buy the greenest models – British motorists languish at sixteenth place in a league table of who buys the most polluting models in Europe, according to a study carried out on behalf of the Environmental Transport Association (ETA).
Portuguese drivers are the greenest in Europe when it comes to buying cars with an average CO2 rate of 138g/km (eg. VW Polo) – the least green motorists are from Latvia with a figure of 177g/km (eg. Suburu Imprezza). The average British driver comes sixteenth in the list with 158g/km (eg. VW Passat).
EU regulation is striving to cut the CO2 emitted by cars to an average figure of 130 g/km by 2015.
Director at the ETA, Andrew Davis, said: “Car makers can build green cars, but they need us to buy them. The report found that strict new emissions laws are having a strong effect on the availability of cleaner cars, but wealth, motoring taxes, fuel prices and consumer attitudes, which vary wildly from country to country across Europe, have much more of an effect on how clean a car is chosen.”
“There was a fuss in Britain when road tax increased for the most-polluting cars, but we are lax by European standards – we need a more sophisticated carrot and stick approach to encouraging people to drive lighter cars if we want to do better in next year’s league table.”