France is fourth in the European list of vehicles emitting the least CO2 emissions
In a report published by Ademe (French Environment and Energy Management Agency), France occupies fourth place in the European rankings for new vehicles emitting the least CO2. She continues to improve her performance in this area, mainly thanks to diesel vehicles which emit 20 % less CO2 than gasoline vehicles and which represented 72.9 % of domestic vehicle sales in 2012 (compared to 72.4 % in 2011).
Last year new cars sold in France emitted on average 124 g of CO2 per km, compared to 122 g/km for the Netherlands, 119 g/km for Portugal and 117 g/km for Denmark. "Several years ago Denmark was trailing but has now made considerable progress since it deployed a dissuasive policy for big vehicles and is now placed in the top three", Patrick Corroler, Head of the transport department with Ademe, explained to AFP (24/4/13).
Ademe stresses that sales in France of A class cars (with emissions equal to or under 100 g/km), have gone from 5 % in 2011 to 14 % in 2012. "This important jump is explained by the growing offer of models with performances in the A class", with 74 models in 2012, as opposed to 51 in 2011. In this respect the most environmentally friendly car in the diesel category is the Renault Clio (sedan and hatchback), with 83 g of CO2/km; it dethrones the Smart ForTwo, which claimed 86 g/km last year. In the same gasoline category the hybrids have the best performances. Toyota takes the lead with its Yaris (79 g/km). Other than hybrids the Fiat 500 is best with 90 g of CO2/km.
"The high percentage of diesel sales in France undoubtedly boosts a better CO2 performance", explains Patrick Corroler, while underlining that the impact of these new vehicles on air quality is limited. "The particulate problem has been solved thanks to the particle filter and the nitrogen oxide issue will be solved thanks to the Euro 6 norm in three to four years’ time" he said.