Skip advert
Advertisement

UK fleet average carbon emissions down 11.8 per cent as EV take-up increases

Sustainability improves across the automotive sector in spite of the pandemic’s hit to turnover

Exhaust

The 22nd sustainability report from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed that UK fleet average carbon emissions were down by a record-breaking 11.8 per cent in 2020 in spite of the pandemic.

Electric vehicles accounted for more than one in 10 new car registrations in 2020, while there was a 90 per cent increase for plug-in hybrid cars. As of last year, alternatively fuelled vehicles (EVs, PHEVS and conventional hybrids) account for 18.8 per cent of all cars made - up from 14.8 per cent in 2019. The market share for electric cars alone is 4.5 per cent.

These vehicles are also being manufactured with 14.2 per cent less energy and 36.8 per cent less water used per vehicle than in the year 2000, the report shows, with total combined waste to landfill down 98.7 per cent and CO2 equivalents per vehicle falling by 36.5 per cent.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The SMMT warns, however, that the industry’s speed in making electric models available must be matched by a rapid deployment of EV charging infrastructure. Manufacturers were also praised in the report for continuing to invest in employee development, training and apprenticeships.

The UK automotive sector saw a 24.6-per-cent decline in turnover last year as a result of Covid-19, but there has still been an overall increase of 25.7 per cent since 1999 to £60.2 billion.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, said: “The impact of the pandemic on a sector such as automotive - one which depends on global supply lines, strong consumer demand and a highly skilled workforce - was always going to be severe. As the latest sustainability report shows, economic and market growth stalled with many factories shuttered and retail closed.  

“Yet the pandemic also proved the importance of the sector as it turned its capabilities to PPE and ventilator manufacture and assured the nation’s mobility through the continued servicing and repair of vehicles. Despite the adversity, the industry’s commitment and investment in zero-emission vehicles remained undiminished, delivering the best-ever single year of fleet average carbon reduction.

“Much more needs to be done on this and so many other sustainability indicators, to which the sector looks to the Government to ensure the framework, incentives and infrastructure exist to enhance our competitiveness and deliver the sustainable future society demands.”

Check out the best-selling cars in 2021 so far...

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

What happens to old electric car batteries? Inside the UK's EV battery recycling industry
Battery recycling process - Complete battery floorplan
Features

What happens to old electric car batteries? Inside the UK's EV battery recycling industry

We pay a visit to Ecobat’s battery recycling facility in the West Midlands
30 Mar 2024
Low Traffic Neighbourhoods: many residents unaware of multi-million pound ‘cash cows’
Heavy Traffic
News

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods: many residents unaware of multi-million pound ‘cash cows’

58 per cent of residents don’t know they’re in an LTN, while less than a quarter say they improve air quality or encourage cycling
19 Mar 2024
“Vehicle-to-grid charging is the secret to electric cars that are incredibly cheap to run”
Opinion - vehicle-to-grid charging
Opinion

“Vehicle-to-grid charging is the secret to electric cars that are incredibly cheap to run”

The electric car is the future whether we like it or not and Andy Palmer believes the secret to mass adoption is getting the charging right
13 Mar 2024
Can Saharan solar power drive the hydrogen car revolution?
Solar panels in Shara Desert
News

Can Saharan solar power drive the hydrogen car revolution?

We take a Skoda Enyaq EV to the Sahara via the world’s biggest concentrating solar power station for a glimpse at potential future of green hydrogen p…
15 Feb 2024

Most Popular

Car Deal of the Day: sensational BMW M2 is a bargain at this price!
BMW M2 - front tracking
News

Car Deal of the Day: sensational BMW M2 is a bargain at this price!

Our Day of the Day for 18 April is the formidable BMW M2 performance car
18 Apr 2024
New Vauxhall Mokka Griffin lowers small SUV’s price to £21,555
Vauxhall Mokka Griffin front 3/4
News

New Vauxhall Mokka Griffin lowers small SUV’s price to £21,555

The Griffin trim level is carried over to the petrol-powered models after appearing on the Mokka Electric
18 Apr 2024
Mazda CX-80 2024 preview: walkaround, specs and full details
Mazda CX-80 - front studio
News

Mazda CX-80 2024 preview: walkaround, specs and full details

Mazda’s first seven-seater in Europe for nearly a decade, the new CX-80 will be offered with plug-in hybrid or straight-six diesel power
18 Apr 2024