Toyota Nears EU Targets, Leads Carmakers on CO2 Cuts

Toyota Motor Corp. led carmakers in
cutting carbon-dioxide discharges in Europe last year and is
closest to achieving its target under European Union
legislation, an environmental transport group said.

As part of efforts to fight climate change, the 27-nation
EU approved legislation in 2008 to cut car CO2 emissions by
around a fifth to 130 grams a kilometer on average in 2015
through varying targets for individual manufacturers. The curbs,
with the heaviest autos having to make the biggest reductions,
will be phased in between 2012 and 2015.

Toyota, the world’s biggest automaker, cut CO2 discharges
by 10 percent last year and is now “best placed” to comply
with the 2015 target, according to the report published today by
Brussels-based Transport & Environment. This compares with a
record 5.1 percent drop in the car industry’s sales-weighted
average emissions of CO2 per kilometer.

“Carmakers in Europe are heading for very significant
overcompliance with the CO2 regulation and are hence likely to
hit the target for 2015 years in advance,” Transport &
Environment said in an e-mailed statement. “The study’s
findings suggest that carmakers previously exaggerated the time
needed to comply with car CO2 limits.”

Toyota, Suzuki Motor Corp., Daimler AG, Mazda Motor Corp.
and Ford Motor Co. appear to have achieved the most progress in
reducing emissions through better technologies rather than sales
of small cars, the study said.

Toyota’s average emissions dropped to 132 grams a kilometer
last year from 147 grams in 2008. This is the second-lowest
level after Fiat SpA, whose average CO2 discharges dropped 5.3
percent to 131 grams, the report said.

‘Consumer Awareness’

The European Automobile Manufacturers Association said
average car emissions of CO2 are falling “rapidly” for several
reasons, including the impact of the economic crisis and greater
consumer demand for cleaner vehicles.

“Most importantly, we have seen a major shift in consumer
awareness,” the Brussels-based association, whose members
include Volkswagen AG, Europe’s largest carmaker, Bayerische
Motoren Werke AG, PSA Peugeot Citroen and Fiat, said in an e-
mailed statement. “Today, there is a market for fuel-efficient
technologies that was almost absent until recently.”

An EU draft law from October last year would cut average
CO2 from new vans by 14 percent to 175 grams a kilometer as of
2016 after a phase-in that begins two years earlier. Those
targets should be tightened, according to the report.

Wider European curbs on the transport industry’s greenhouse
gases including CO2, the main such pollutant, would bolster an
EU goal to cut such emissions by at least 20 percent in 2020
from 1990 levels. The EU is considering deepening that target to
30 percent should other countries follow suit.

You can return to the main Market News page, or press the Back button on your browser.