According to a report by the European Environment Agency (EEA), efficiency of passenger cars and vans in the EU has improved over the past years, and the number of electric cars is increasing rapidly. The report upon data on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from these vehicles, finds that both passenger cars and vans sold in 2013 were already below the maximum permitted emissions per kilometer threshold set by the European Commission for 2015. The European Commission regulation sets targets of 130g of CO2/km by 2015 for passenger cars and 175g of CO2/km by 2017 for light commercial vehicles, applied to all newly registered vehicles in the EU.  The publication, titled ‘EEA Dataset on CO2 Emissions from Passenger Cars,’ provides quality-checked data on CO2 emissions passenger cars and vans registered in all EU member States.

The study finds that the average specific emissions of the new EU fleets of cars and vans in 2013 were already below the 2015 and 2017 targets. Also, the majority of manufacturers achieved their CO2 emission targets set for 2013. The number of purely electric cars, according to the report, increased from 700 in 2010 to approximately 25,000 in 2013, while the number of plug-in hybrid cars also grew rapidly.

On real world emissions, the report estimates that driving conditions can lead to emissions that are a fifth higher than reported test cycle emissions. For larger cars, emissions may be up to a third higher, according to EEA.

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