New cars sold in the EU in 2017 emitted slightly more carbon dioxide (CO2) per kilometer than those sold in 2016, the European Commission (EC) announced on Monday.
This is the first increase in average CO2 emissions of the new EU car fleet since monitoring began in 2010, according to provisional data published by the European Environment Agency (EEA), the EC noted.
The average emissions level of a new car sold in the EU in 2017 was 118.5 grams of CO2/km, the EC explained, which is 0.4 grams higher than in 2016. But in 2017 emissions were significantly below the 2015 target of 130 grams.
The EC noted the increased demand for heavier petrol vehicles, alongside a decrease in the share of diesel cars, which are generally slightly more fuel-efficient than petrol cars.
The share of diesel cars was 49 percent in 2016, but 45 percent in 2017, according to an EC statement.
"While sales of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and battery-electric vehicles rose by 42 percent from 2016 to 2017, the share of these vehicles in the new EU car fleet remained low, at 1.5 percent," the statement read.
Since monitoring began in 2010, average emissions of new cars in the EU have fallen by 22 grams CO2/km, a 16 percent decrease, the EC said. Nevertheless, the EC said that manufacturers would have to further reduce emissions in the coming years in order to meet the EU target of 95 grams CO2/km by 2021.
By Ebru Sengul