The CO2 emission rate for new cars sold in Belgium last year was slightly below the European average, point out the provisional statistics for 2014 established by AEE (European Environment Agency) on Wednesday. Sales of electric vehicles have soared in the country, as in many other countries in Europe. Contrary to what has been happening in the rest of Europe, which saw an increase in car sales (12.5 million in 2014), new vehicle registrations have remained stable in Belgium. Just over 485,000 new cars were registered in the country in 2014, against 490,000 in 2013 and 2012. The new cars on the roads emit ever less CO2, currently 121.3 grams per kilometre (g/km), against 124 g/km in 2013 and 128 g/km in 2012. Belgium is in line with the European trend of a general reduction in car emissions, and is even doing slightly better than the average of 123.4 g/km for CO2. Cars sold in the Netherlands, Greece, and Portugal, are the cleanest of all (with emissions of respectively 107, 108, and 109 g/km).
By dropping below 130 CO2g/km in 2013, the EU reached its 2015 CO2 reduction target earlier than expected. The next target is a maximum of 95 CO2 g/km for new cars sold in 2021.
AEE points out as well that sales of electric cars jumped up by 57% between 2013 and 2014. Sales also broke records in France (with 10,700 cars), in Germany (8,500), and in the UK (6,700), even if the overall proportion of electric cars in Europe remains minute (38,000). In Belgium, the number of electric cars has more than doubled, from 500 in 2013 to 1167 in 2014.
FEBIAC (Belgian federation of automobiles and cycles) explains this trend by the launch of new car models in Belgium, the market on offer widening from 5 to 17 different models, points out Christophe Dubon, FEBIAC spokesperson. He also highlights that companies are more liable to buy this type of vehicle which still represents a major investment for households.