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The SMMT's latest report on new car CO2 emissions shows that average emissions fell in 2011 to 138.1g/km, down 4.2% on the 2010 figure and 23.7% below the 2000 average. Average new car emissions are down by over 27% compared with 15 years ago.
In 2011 diesel car sales exceeded petrol variants for the first time and took a record 50.6% share of the market. Registrations of alternatively-fuelled vehicles rose by 11.3% to over 25,000 units, and accounedt for a record 1.3% share of the total market. The SMMT report also notes that 2011 also saw the launch of electric vehicles by volume manufacturers.
All market segments reported a further decline in CO2 emissions in 2011, highlighting the broad nature of the total market shift to more efficient cars. The SMMT says that the current challenging economic setting has further increased consumer awareness and the desire to reduce running costs and purchase lower CO2-emitting cars.
As in the UK, the rate of progress across the EU has picked up in recent years although the UK has matched or bettered the EU rate of improvement in each of the past seven years.
A new car bought in the UK is now 18.0% more efficient than the average car in use in the UK.