Consumer-minded CO2 labelling for new passenger cars required now

Consumers in need of better information

Buyers of a new car can not easily recognise how much carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a car produces. The Federal Environment Agency (UBA) is therefore calling for a new labelling system for passenger cars by which fuel economy and CO2 emissions can be seen at a glance. ”At this moment in time it is especially important to introduce consumer-minded labelling on new passenger cars. The stimulus packages adopted by the German federal government include a short-term exemption from tax on new vehicles as well as a scrapping premium for used cars, and the levying of a CO2-based charge on motor vehicles as of mid-2009. This leaves car buyers with a strong demand for information about efficient vehicles”, said UBA President Prof. Dr. Andreas Troge.

The labelling on fuel economy and CO emissions in new passenger cars in use now and which has been mandatory in Germany since November 2004 has had only a minor influence on car buyers’ purchasing decisions so far. An indication of fuel economy in litres/100 km driven and CO2 emissions in grammes/km are not enough. What is missing is comprehensible and clear marking on the vehicle itself with comparative figures for other car types that would help to show how efficient the car actually is.

The German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) has developed such labelling to create incentives to buy passenger cars that get better mileage and are therefore also lower in CO2 emissions. The scheme already exists for light bulbs, washing machines, and refrigerators. The UBA supports the proposal and is calling for this labelling to be made obligatory immediately.

The text of the Energy Consumption Labelling Ordinance on the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of new passenger vehicles (EnVKV) is available online (in German) at "links".

The BMWi amendment proposal to the Ordinance is featured in the following report at "links" on p. 6 and on p. 54.

German Environment Agency

Wörlitzer Platz 1
06844 Dessau-Roßlau

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 carbon dioxide  car labelling  ecolabelling