Emissions SMMT News

DfT launches green car web site at SMMT

31 July 2007 #Emissions #SMMT News

Colour-coded environmental labels first appeared in new car showrooms in July 2005. Now this voluntary move by car makers has been bolstered by the launch of a new DfT web site giving consumers on-line information about the lowest CO2 emitting models on the market.

Launched today at SMMT’s (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders) headquarters in central London, www.dft.gov.uk/ActOnCO2 lists top-10 lowest CO2 emitters by What Car categories, endorsing the showroom message that lower carbon and lower cost motoring go hand-in-hand.

‘We welcome this initiative,’ commented Christopher Macgowan, SMMT chief executive. ‘Consumers need to make the connection between choosing the most CO2 efficient cars and lower cost motoring. They also need to be clear on the practical steps to be taken to limit their carbon footprint in action, whatever vehicle they drive.’

The new colour-coded new car label was launched in July 2005 by former transport minister, Dr Stephen Ladyman MP. Now displayed throughout new car showrooms, the label features green-to-red banding in a format that closely mirrors energy efficiency labels attached to new white goods.

It also includes details of annual running costs through fuel duty and road tax. This makes car-by-car comparisons on CO2 and running costs easy and encourages the association between low carbon and low cost motoring for new car buyers.

Today’s DfT’s launch will also supplement SMMT’s Drive Green, Drive Safely initiative. Launched in January 2006, this guide to eco-safe driving is available to download free from www.smmt.co.uk/sustainability 25,000 copies of the guide, which is full of simple tips and advice for drivers, were distributed to visitors at the 2006 British International Motor Show.


At €20 bn, the automotive sector is Europe’s largest investor in R&D, driving industry forward and helping deliver more sustainable motoring for the 21st century. Technological innovation has helped car and CV manufacturers slash CO2 and air quality emissions from vehicles. New diesel cars for example emit 95 per cent less soot from the tailpipe than those made 15 years ago and average new car CO2 has been cut by 12 per cent since 1997.

Each vehicle made in Britain requires half the energy to produce than it did just five years ago, saving an estimated 700,000 tonnes of CO2 a year. Waste to landfill per vehicle produced has also been cut by a factor of four, from 66.4 kg in 2001 to 14.5 kg in 2005. For more details, download SMMT’s annual Sustainability Report from the SMMT web site www.smmt.co.uk/category/reports/

Pictured: New car colour-coded label


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