According to the automotive industry data provider, buyers moved towards fuel-efficient vehicles last year, determined by the introduction of pollution-related taxes and national scrappage schemes.
The mainstream European new car emissions average is now 145.9 grams per km, a figure that can be translated into a 20 grams/km reduction, compared to the level posted in 2003, when JATO debuted the emissions recordings. Over 50 percent of the new vehicles sold in the 21 Countries included in the research showed CO2 figures of under 140 g/km, compared to a figure of 23 percent in 2003.
According to JATO, the progress in CO2 emissions was registered as a result of multiple factors: vehicle improvements, specific taxation, rises in fuel prices, national scrappage schemes and consumer budgets affected by the recession.
The modern automotive industry has developed several eco-friendly solutions such as more efficient internal combustion engines, hybrid powertrains, more advanced transmissions, improved aerodynamics, low rolling resistance tires, stop-start systems and KERS systems. Most automotive producers currently offer eco models that use many of the aforementioned developments.
"This progress has been swift and while specific environmentally-oriented versions are a small proportion of overall new car sales, many of the features they carry are filtering through to their ‘mainstream' counterparts. This is a trend that will continue, as engines become smaller, lighter and more efficient," the JATO report stated.