New cars sold in the United Kingdom are producing more carbon dioxide emissions than older cars, shows new research that suggests the industry is going in the wrong direction to fight climate change.
For new cars to achieve the latest standards of emissions they have high tech cleaner internal combustion engines than previous models which helps them pollute less. However, nowadays the demand for cars to be bigger and heavier than they were before has meant that on average carbon dioxide emissions have increased, according to research from consumer group Which?
The most recent generation of cars generated 7 per cent more emissions than the previous generation tested to earlier standards, from the 292 models released in Britain since 2017. According to Government figures, in the United Kingdom, cars account for just over 18 per cent of all emissions. Reducing this figure is seen as one of the main aims for the nation if it wants to achieve its net zero carbon goal by 2050.
The editor of Which? magazine, Lisa Barber, has stated how shocking it is that the test results show that newer cars being built and sold in Britain have increasing levels of carbon dioxide emissions and that manufactures should make sure that they are doing everything possible to create cleaner and greener vehicles more suited for the planet and its future.
In general, the cars that met the latest emissions standards produced 162.1 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre, which is an increase of 10.5 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre from the previous emission regulations.
This figure is also way over the 95 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre target that carmakers must achieve for sales across the European Union otherwise they will be met with large fines. Many manufactures across Europe are now competing to make and sell electric vehicles to complete with the traditional petrol and diesel models however many are having to make hybrid models for the time being to reach this target.
The chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufactures and Technology, Mike Hawes, was unable to comment on the results from Which? as they are non-official tests ran by commercial organisations and without a clear method of testing.
Hawes went on to say that the only test that can be relied on is the official Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure which is valid across all of Europe. This test showed that on average new cars produce about 29.3 per cent less carbon dioxide than models produced in 2000
The Which? analysis also found that carbon dioxide emissions were increasing in every segment of the car industry. Small city cars to large SUVs all saw an increase in carbon emissions as manufactures try to fit as much technology into the cars as possible. It was the hybrid sector which witnessed the largest growth in emissions with a 31 per cent increase between the two generations.
On the brighter side, newer cars did perform better on air quality issues. The latest generation of cars slashed emissions of nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide which both directly cause harm to human health.
The tests did also find that the carbon emissions from cars were higher than the official readings recorded by the EU regulators. This is because the EU regulators do not measure emissions at extended use at higher motorway speeds or take into account having a car full of people with the radio and air conditioning on. These factors will considerably effect how much carbon dioxide gets produced when using a car.