Facing disruption from new technologies and regulation, the European automotive industry invests more than €50 billion into R&D annually (according to ACEA), a large percentage of which is on fuel-efficiency technology. This reflects the need to meet the European Union’s (EU) emission reduction targets for new cars. These require that, by 2021, new car fleets do not emit more than an average of 95 grams of CO₂ per kilometre (g/km).
Every year, we rank the top carmakers in Europe according to their performance against these CO₂ emission targets. Our latest rankings show many are still struggling to hit their 2021 targets raising real questions about how they can make the changes required in time to avoid costly penalties.
While Volvo, Toyota, Renault-Nissan and Jaguar Land Rover are on track to meet their specific targets by 2021, six major manufacturers – Volkswagen, BMW, Hyundai-Kia, Fiat Chrysler, Peugeot-Citroen and Ford – are likely to miss theirs. And Daimler might be close to benefit from further progress.
Our way of benchmarking, unavailable anywhere else in the market, analyses the targets set for each carmakers’ business based on their average vehicle weight and compares this with their forecasted performance based on their overall fleet portfolio.
To see which carmakers are on track to meet their 2021 targets, and how their levels of CO2 emissions compare, click on the interactive dashboard below.
Individual CO₂ targets are achievable for a few carmakers; only four are forecast to meet the targets. Toyota and Volvo, for example, could be even more than 10-20g CO₂/km ahead of target, while Renault-Nissan will be 0.7g CO₂/km ahead of the 2021 target. JLR’s targets require a 45% reduction on their 2007 emissions as long as they do not exceed 300,000 vehicles sold per year in Europe. They turn from amber to green for the first time, now achieving their specific target based on good progress for CO₂ performance in their fleet portfolio.
Just one carmaker is getting closer to its specific target. Daimler may be able to turn round their performance. They have announced investment plans to reduce emissions levels – so far facing a small gap of 1.4g CO₂/km to their target of 100.7g CO₂/km. They have already launched electric and hybrid cars and are well on the way to the electrification of their fleet. This is based on a total of 50 new models by 2022, and they are planning to increase their BEV sales to a share of 15% to 25% by the year 2025.
Two German carmakers – Volkswagen and BMW – as well as Hyundai-Kia, Peugeot-Citroen, Fiat Chrysler and Ford are likely to miss their targets. Many of their alternative vehicles will not reach the market in time to make an effect on emission levels before 2021. They risk penalties of €95 for each gram of CO₂ above the limit, multiplied by the number of cars they sell in 2020. On current performance, the fines can reach or rise above the €1bn mark for some carmakers.
Our analysis shows all carmakers face a number of particular challenges if they are to make progress towards meeting the targets.