Emissions SMMT News

First colour-coded new car labels appear in showrooms

30 June 2005 #Emissions #SMMT News

Roll-out of a colour-coded label for new cars will begin on Friday.  1 July 2005 marks the start of the industry’s commitment, forged through the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP), to give consumers better information on key environmental factors like CO2 emissions.

To start the roll-out, 24 dealers in Guildford will pilot the label following an official launch by transport minister, Dr Stephen Ladyman MP. The label will then be more widely displayed in UK showrooms, one for each car, in preparation for the key September market.

Central to the label are the colour coded-CO2 bands, from red to green. These are similar in format to energy efficiency labels on white goods and follow the same CO2 emission bandings used by the government to levy road tax (VED).

As well as CO2 ratings, the labels also show estimated annual running costs. These are based on the average fuel consumption over 12,000 miles and VED. The extra information available will, for the first time, put environmental concerns firmly on the agenda for new car buyers.

‘Average CO2 from new cars has come down by nearly ten per cent in the last seven years’, commented SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan, ‘But we know this is not enough. Today marks a radical step forward in terms of our commitment to give better information. The roll-out of the new label delivers a clear message – a low carbon choice means lower cost motoring.’

Dr Ladyman added, ‘Consumers will now be in a better position to consider the environmental impacts of different cars and to make an informed decision on which one to choose.’

For the first time, SMMT has also forged a close partnership with a local authority to develop a pilot study for the label. Guildford Borough Council has been working with SMMT and LowCVP to encourage local dealers to display the label from today. Potential buyers will be surveyed to better understand the new label’s likely effect on current and future buying habits.

To help consumer organisations like trading standards and Citizens Advice Bureau better understand the label, SMMT has produced an explanatory leaflet with the support of the Vehicle Certification Agency. This has already been distributed to more than 30,000 organisations.

Better information is just one area where the industry is demonstrating its commitment to lower vehicle emissions. In terms of cleaner technologies, the market for alternative fuelled vehicles is growing, and the development of ground-breaking new technologies is being spearheaded through the work of SMMT Foresight Vehicle.

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