SOURCE: AutowiredSurprise as Fiat tops UK list of green car makers
FIAT, Peugeot, Citroen, Toyota and Skoda have been named as the top five manufacturers of green cars on sale in the UK.
Clean Green Cars has conducted a unique research programme into the CO2 performance of every car manufacturer operating in the UK. It took the official CO2 output of every model and correlated that figure to its sales in both the first quarter of 2007 and the first quarter of 2006.
That produced an accurate average figure for every manufacturer by reflecting its sales mix.
For example, a Focus 1.6 Zetec (159 g/km CO2 and 4402 sales) has a much bigger influence on the overall Ford figure for 2007 than the Focus 2.5 ST2 (224 g/km CO2 and 808 sales).
"People can assume that manufacturers of hybrid cars must be the best, but the truth is more complex," said Clean Green Cars publisher, Jay Nagley, an industry analyst.
"Making lots of efficient modern diesels actually has a bigger impact on CO2 performance than making a few hybrids.
"The top three marques are all pioneers of modern diesel engines while Toyota, although much better than average, is not absolutely the best."
The results might surprise some people. Fiat tops the list with the lowest average CO2 figure because of the large proportion of small cars and diesels that it sells. In joint second place are Peugeot and Citroen, traditionally leaders in diesel technology. In fourth place is Toyota: despite its high profile hybrid Prius, it does not sell enough of them to make a major difference to its corporate average.
Mini coming-up fast
Mini UK stands head and shoulders above the rest as making the most improvement.
Thanks to its ultra-efficient new range of engines (and also, it should be said, because its old engines were notably inefficient), Mini has reduced CO2 output per car by 14% in just one year.
Mini is likely to continue improving as the old engines are still being phased-out and further improvements are made to new models. A Mini with just 100 g/km CO2 is likely within a couple of years.
* For the full table, visit www.cleangreencars.co.uk.
To count as significant, a manufacturer had to sell at least 1,500 cars in the first quarter of 2007 - hence small manufacturers such as Lamborghini (or Proton, for that matter) were excluded.