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European consumer organisation recommends reform of car labelling rules

Fri 05 May 2017 | Back to news list

New research from the European consumer association BEUC shows that driving more fuel and energy efficient cars should cut the cost of motoring between 2020 and 2030. It says that electric vehicles will substantially drop in price and be highly competitive, if not cheaper, to run than conventional cars by the mid-2020s and that consumers driving a new fuel efficient petrol or diesel car in 2025 could save almost €10,000 over the car’s lifetime (compared to a 2015 vehicle).

BEUC says that there should be a reform of car labelling rules; consumers need to be given more reliable, comparable, relevant and easy to understand information about the emissions, fuel consumption and cost performance of cars.

In a new BEUC position paper, the organisation gives five recommendations to make clean cars work for European consumers. It recommends that European authorities:

1) The EU must adopt fuel saving, CO2 reducing targets for new cars of 75g CO2/km or lower for 2025 and 50g CO2/km or lower for 2030

• Targets must be rigorously assessed using laboratory (WLTP) and real world onroad tests

• Targets must be cost efficient and use size rather than mass to determine levels;

• Production incentives should focus on those cars that can achieve the biggest air pollutant reductions

2) The EU must collectively ensure the deployment of charging points for alternatively powered cars between 2020 and 2030

• Member States and the Commission must ensure a coherent and adequate distribution of charging infrastructure and convenient payment systems for users across the EU between now and 2030

3) EU car labelling rules must be reformed to better inform consumers

• Consumers need to be given more reliable, comparable, relevant and easy-to-understand information about the emissions, fuel consumption and cost performance of cars

4) Purchase and in-use incentives should reward sustainable consumption

• Where necessary, consumer incentives at the national level should support both the uptake and use of vehicles that lower the environmental and health impacts of driving

5) Only genuinely sustainable biofuels should be supported

• Biofuels should only be supported if they achieve a significant CO2 saving; avoid negative impacts on biodiversity; do not directly compete with food production and do not negatively impact on vehicle performance or durability

BEUC expects the European Commission to come forward with legislative proposals this year that will enable consumers to have access to clean, low carbon, fuel efficient cars. This, it says, will allow them to save money and better protect both the environment and their health.

LowCVP is currently developing the next generation of consumer information for hte UK market and actively looking at vehicle labelling options to compliment the clean air and low carbon policy agenda.

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