Posts Tagged ‘co2 emissions’

Almost 1.4 million new cars registered in Great Britain in 2013 paid nothing in Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) in their first year on the road.

This is almost two-thirds (63%) of the total of 2.2 million new cars registered.

The cars were exempt from VED because they emitted less than 131gCO2/km and fell into VED bands A-D.

In the first year on the road any vehicle that meets this target is zero rated for VED.

Things change from year two onwards when only those vehicles emitting less than 101gCO2/km (Band A) are completely exempt from VED.

However this still means that – assuming the rules stay the same – 324,000 cars bought last year will never be liable for VED.

This is a table of the VED bands and registration figures for each band for 2013.

VED Band CO2 Emissions Cars registered in 2013
A Up to 100g/km 324,000
B 101-110g/km 272,000
C 111-120g/km 430,000
D 121-130g/km 370,000
E 131-140g/km 301,000
F 141-150g/km 182,000
G 151-165g/km 153,000
H 166-175g/km 63,000
I 176-185g/km 33,000
J 186-200g/km 35,000
K 201-225g/km 18,000
L 226-255g/km 20,000
M Over 255g/km 10,000
TOTAL   2.2 million

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Home shopping is meant to offer us a more efficient way to shop, and it has become so popular that the last-minute “Christmas rush” is now just as much in the depots and sorting offices as it is on the High Street.

Unfortunately, this increase in home deliveries isn’t matched by an increased likelihood of us shoppers being at home when the goodies arrive.

So we all know the frustration of that little red card, instructing us to head to the sorting office to pick up that latest delivery from Amazon.

So the trip you thought you saved, you haven’t.  And the parcel has been driven to your home and back for no reason.

The alternatives to the red card aren’t that great: leaving parcels out in the rain, chucking them over the garden fence, bothering your neighbours with them, or dumping them in your wheelie bin.

The collection points aren’t ideal either: user-unfriendly opening hours or a location chosen for the benefit of lorries and logistics rather than consumers, or both.  My (so-called) local Parcelforce office is a 40 mile round trip drive and isn’t well connected to public transport at the hour I’m likely to visit.

There has to be a more efficient way to do this. At least that is what researchers at the University of Southampton believe. According to the study team (see here and here), in 2010, the typical UK online shopper spent £1765 on home shopping, up from £572 in 2005, meaning that – even all the way back in 2010 – there were 1.3 billion home shopping deliveries a year.Image

With this large and growing volume of transactions, the case for improving the cat-and-mouse game of parcel delivery is ever more compelling.  They suggest secure, 24-hour accessible lockers at local places we’d be likely to visit anyway: railway stations, supermarkets, etc.  At the moment, these are more common a sight in countries like Germany and Australia.  You get an access code and you pick up your parcel at a time convenient to you, and at a place much easier to get to.  This could make home delivery both more environmentally efficient and less frustrating.

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We might not be there yet but the two charts below illustrate how the greening of the car fleet is happening. Even over the relatively short period of a decade the fall in average CO2 emissions is marked (the numbers come from the DfT’s vehicle licensing stats table VEH0206). The first graph looks at emissions in relative terms…

New car sales by CO2 emissions (in relative terms)

And now in absolute terms…

New car sale by CO2 emissions in absolute terms








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So buses are the green way to travel are they? Well it clearly depends on how you measure their environmental credentials. The latest figures from the DfT show that fleet average CO2 emissions for buses have risen by about 25% over the past decade (the figures are plotted below alongside similar data for rigid and articulated HGVs). The numbers tell you what is happening but not why. Perhaps buses are getting bigger and heavier because they can carry more people.

Of course what is more important here is the average load factor per bus and the subsequent CO2 emissions per passenger kilometre – rather than vehicle kilometre. Even so it would be interesting to hear what the ‘official’ reason is for the steady increase in bus emissions compared with the steady decline in those for cars.

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Chris Huhne MP may no longer be Secretary of State at DECC but clearly he retains his interest in a low-carbon world, as this question to the Department for Transport shows. Worth noting that average new car carbon emissions in 2011 stood at 138 gCO2/km.

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the (a) make, (b) model, (c) year of manufacture and (d) carbon emissions in grammes per kilometre is of each vehicle provided by the Government Car Service to each Government department. [129563]

Stephen Hammond: The following table lists the main departmental pool cars provided to each Department through service level agreements.

Department Make Model Year of manufacture CO 2 g/km
Cabinet Office Jaguar XJ 2011 189
Toyota Avensis 2012 165
Business Innovation and Skills Toyota Avensis 2012 165
Communities and Local Government Land Rover Discovery 2012 230
Toyota Avensis 2012 165
Environment and Climate Change Toyota Prius—Plug in hybrid 2010 59
Environment Food and Rural Affairs Land Rover Discovery 2012 230
Education Jaguar XJ 2011 189
Transport Land Rover Discovery 2012 230
Toyota Avensis 2012 165
Health Jaguar XJ 2012 189
HM Treasury Land Rover Discovery 2012 230
Toyota Avensis 2012 165
Home Office Toyota Avensis 2012 165
Attorney-General’s Office Jaguar XJ 2011 189
Ministry of Justice Jaguar XJ 2011 189
Northern Ireland Office Toyota Avensis 2012 165
Wales Office Jaguar XJ 2011 189
Culture, Media and Sport Toyota Avensis 2012 165

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Just off to Brighton for tomorrow’s RAC Future Car Challenge, having taken a look at the opposition. There is clearly there is a low carbon car for everyone: the range of energy types on display demonstrates the different approaches to cutting greenhouse gas emissions from road transport. Our entry is a Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid.

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Another year passes and with it comes another significant annual drop in the CO2 emissions of the new cars sold in the UK.

According to the 2012 Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ New Car CO2 Report, “emissions fell to a new low of 138.1 g/km in 2011, down 4.2% on 2010.”

The SMMT study shows emissions are down 27% on 2000 levels. 70% of that progress has come in the past four years.

The key point is that this improvement is not the result of alternative-powered vehicles swamping the roads – sales of new cars powered by electricity and hybrid technology are still only a tiny fraction of the total – but because of huge strides in the refinement of internal combustion engines.

The real debate is about where we should be going next. According to the SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt, “Considerable progress has to be made to deliver the challenging 2020 pan-EU CO2 target of 95g/km.”

Yet others think this obstacle is too easily hurdled and the eco-performance of the new car fleet should be rather better. In a letter last month to EU Commission President José-Manuel Barroso, Greenpeace and the Transport and Environment Group pleaded for any assistance to the European car makers to be linked to “a tightening of legislative standards for fleet average emissions to 80 gCO2/km by 2020 and the inclusion of a new target of 60 gCO2/km by 2025.”

The technical evidence suggests these alternative goals could be achieved. The questions are whether it is imperative they are met and if so how?

If the answer to the first question is yes, then in theory you could simply legislate to reach the required goal. If targets became legal requirements and manufacturers were punitively sanctioned for breaching CO2 levels then the chances are things would change despite the grumbling. Equally, if consumers were nudged – indeed shoved – towards buying low carbon cars through mouth-watering incentives then change would also result.

At the moment the subsidies available from government are all focused on ultra-low carbon cars, but what if buyers of the best-performing vehicles in their class all got a nice round £1,000 from ministers? The 2007 King Review of low-carbon cars concluded this measure alone could “reduce emissions by 10-25% over time.”

These matters of policy are all up for debate, but today’s report should offer us some reassurance. For all the negative environmental impacts associated with road transport, it is perhaps the one sector which is best placed to respond to the challenge. Indeed, it is already doing so.

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