Carbon emissions from new cars have dropped steadily over the last few years, from an average of 220.7 grams per kilometer in 2006, to 204.2 last year, says MTA.
This result is due to car companies having to adhere to US and European limits, technological improvements, and the shift to smaller, more fuel-frugal vehicles.
MTA says the arrival of new, emissions-friendly cars will gradually lower New Zealand’s carbon footprint, but the overall improvement will be slow.
The average amount of carbon emitted by all the cars on our roads is impacted by the age of our fleet, and the mean age of a New Zealand car as at December 2009 is almost 12 years old, and that vehicle was built to meet 12-year-old standards.
It emits carbon at a far higher level than new cars do today.
Motor Industry Association CEO Perry Kerr says that as a result, “The overall safety and environmental performance of our vehicle fleet is compromised, and certainly lower than other comparable markets, for example Australia.”
Kerr says, “The MIA would like to see further Government involvement aimed at encouraging younger used imports and specific polices directed at reducing the age of the fleet.”