Excerpt from theguardian.com
The carbon dioxide emissions of new cars sold in the UK dropped to the lowest level ever in 2021 thanks to the unprecedented surge in electric vehicle sales, industry data suggests.
Average new car CO2 emissions fell by 11.2%, to 119.7g for every kilometre driven, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), a lobby group.
Battery electric vehicles accounted for only 12% of UK sales during 2021, but they rapidly drag down the figures because they produce zero exhaust emissions. Increased sales of hybrids, which include a battery alongside an internal combustion engine, also contributed to the fall in emissions, which was previously stymied in recent years by the rise of sales in higher-emission sports utility vehicles (SUVs).
In 2021, the SMMT reported a 38% drop in average new car emissions since 2000, although those data were produced under a different test methodology so are not directly comparable.
Car sales data for January, also published on Friday, showed that the number of battery electric cars more than doubled year on year to 14,400, accounting for 12.5% of cars sold.