Volkswagen Group has made a significant statement of intent by committing to achieving average carbon dioxide emissions of 95g/km in its European new car fleet by 2020. Any car that emits less that 100g/km CO2 is currently considered clean and in many cities qualify for congestion discounts, hence such low average emissions across Volkswagen’s range of cars would be an enormous step forward in reducing pollution. Volkswagen is currently the largest new car maker in Europe and the second largest globally behind Toyota.

With Audi, Volkswagen, Skoda, SEAT and Porsche amongst others in its collective, Volkswagen Group already offer 245 models that emit less than 120g/km CO2 and 36 models that emit less than 100g/km CO2. They are also the first manufacturer to commit to the 95g/km CO2 target.

Speaking on the eve of this year’s Geneva Motor Show, Chairman of the Board, Dr. Martin Winkerkorn, said that this is a “Herculean task calling for the best efforts of all our 40,000 developers.” He went on to say that the technologies used in the new XL1 1-litre car would find their way into series vehicles, in particular the plug-in hybrid technology that allows the XL1 to cover 30 miles on electricity alone. With transparency in mind, Volkswagen group is stressing it “is not speculating on any loopholes to achieve its target,” and is already on track to reach its target of average fleet emissions of less than 120g/km CO2 by 2015.

Earlier this week Volkswagen Group unveiled something of an environmental product offensive in Geneva, with plug-in hybrid and natural gas versions of the Audi A3, as well as the groundbreaking XL1. Emitting just 21g/km CO2 and offering real-world fuel economy well in excess of 100mpg, the carbon-fibre XL1 will be made in limited numbers initially but Volkswagen may increase production volumes in the future. In the immediate future, a Bluemotion version of Volkswagen’s award-winning Golf VII will average over 88mpg and emit just 85g/km of carbon dioxide when it goes on sale in the summer.

As always, AutoeBid will bring buyers the best new car deals on the most frugal cars from a network of over 1,600 UK dealers.

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