Fleet News

Consumer Council calls for eco-labels

THE National Consumer Council is calling for eco-labelling of cars, grading them according to their impact on the environment and fuel efficiency. It believes such a system - with vehicles graded A to G - would prove an important factor in fleet buying choices, which in turn would persuade manufacturers to do more to clean up their products.

The NCC's latest report 'Consumers and the Environment: Can consumers save the planet?' said a labelling scheme would provide a clear guide to a vehicle's fuel consumption and emissions. The report said: 'Although this may not achieve any great market shift (all small cars being rated A and all large cars G), an energy label might have a greater impact on fleet buyers, particularly those who provide fuel as well. This in turn might be sufficient to influence manufacturers to develop cars with lower emissions and better fuel efficiency.'

It says such a system could be linked to rebates or taxes, such as operated in the Drive+ scheme in Ontario, where sales surcharges are imposed on cars with poor fuel efficiency, while the most efficient receive a rebate. NCC research shows that 36% of consumers want to take steps to protect the environment, but are hampered by lack of trustworthy information and the apparent reluctance of some manufacturers - both of cars and other goods - to market less environmentally-damaging products until they see a clear market for them.

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