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Europe sets stricter rules for 'green' car ads

Stricter rules preventing dealers and manufacturers misinforming car buyers about the environmental performance of their potential purchases are to be introduced.

The European Commission has promised to “develop rules to avoid misleading environmental claims” when selling supposedly green vehicles.

Also, EU car labeling rules will be tightened with an amendment to directive 1999/94/EC being drafted.

The plan includes a shopping list of measures. Many are actually policies and actions already in train, but some new initiatives are unveiled, including the green marketing idea.

Also, by 2012, technical rules reducing the dangers posed by electric and hybrid vehicles in road accidents would be reviewed, as would potential risks to pedestrians and cyclists because of the quietness of electric vehicles.

These promises come in a detailed policy statement on promoting green cars that signals Brussels’ identification of electric and hybrid cars as the technology that will green Europe’s transport systems.

It says little about biofuels beyond restressing continuing work to develop new sustainability criteria.

EU industry commissioner Antonio Tajani said the commission had deciding greening European cars was critical for the industry’s financial health, adding: “In 2010, the automotive industry enters into a defining phase for its future success.”

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