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BMW Outshines Competitors on New-Car Fuel Efficiency

Sept. 5, 2008 - BMW last year improved the fuel efficiency of its new cars at four times the average rate of other major manufacturers, according to a new study by the nonprofit European Federation for Transport and the Environment (T&E).

The average new car sold by BMW in 2007 typically consumed 7.3% less fuel compared to the previous year. By contrast, the overall European average improvement was just 1.7% - not enough to meet EU proposed climate targets for new cars, T&E notes.

"With the threat of legislation looming, BMW has shown that even premium carmakers can seriously reduce CO2," says Jos Dings, director of T&E. "But the slow response of most carmakers shows that the EU needs to keep up the pressure with challenging, long-term CO2 targets."

The European Commission has proposed a law which recommends cars emit, on average, no more than 130g/km by 2012 - a target German carmakers, including BMW are lobbying hard against.

According to Dings, German carmakers want CO2 targets to only apply to the cleanest cars in the early years. "It's the equivalent of demanding that a smoking ban should only apply to non-smokers," he says.

Instead, the T&E is calling for a tougher target of 120g/km by 2012, which it says, can be met with existing technology including stop-start engines, weight reduction, engine downsizing and other modest improvements.

The European Parliament will be voting on the proposed law on September 8-9.

To download the report, click here (PDF).


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