The new label is the result of a voluntary agreement by carmakers following discussions with environment groups and other road transport 'stakeholders' under the responsibility of the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership. It will see cars labelled from A – F, with A being the cleanest cars in terms of their CO2 emissions, in the same way white goods such as fridges and washing machines have been for several years.
Philip Sellwood, chief executive of the Energy Saving Trust, says: “The new car labels could go a long way to raise the market share of low carbon cars - currently 3% of all new cars sold emit less than 120 g/km of CO2 - and help Government realise its target of 10% of all new cars to be less than 100g/km of CO2 by 2012.
MORI research on the pilot scheme suggested that for some customers labelling will make little difference – with the colour of the car, rather than the colour of the sticker being more important. Honda is one of the first carmakers to adopt and promote the scheme. Its Insight is one of the models to top the new colour chart, getting a green ‘A’ rating (less than 100 CO2 g/km).
"Any labelling that helps the buyer make a more informed choice with regard to environmental friendliness and fuel economy is good news for us," says Steve Oliver, head of customer division at Honda.
"In the wake of congestion charges, green credentials are becoming more prevalent in the purchase decision for our customers and this is a trend we expect to continue."