EU new car CO2 legislation states that new car emissions must be slashed to 130g/km by 2015 - the equivalent of achieving 58mpg with a diesel engine and 52mpg in a petrol car.
The new legislation passed by the European parliament sets out a tough programme for car manufacturers with 65% of new cars hitting the 130g/km target by 2012, 75% by 2013, 80% by 2014 and 100% by 2015.
Small-volume manufacturers (below 10,000 units per year) will have individual targets set while niche manufacturers (10,000 to 300,000 units per year) are expected to deliver a 25% reduction of their 2007 figure.
An additional 10g/km must be achieved by other measures such as alternative fuels and tyre pressure monitoring systems. Manufacturers which breach the targets will be fined per additional gram of CO2 emitted for every car registered across Europe.
Paul Everitt, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), said: "This is an ambitious piece of legislation presenting a tough challenge to the automotive industry."
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