Commission launches public consultation on revision of car labelling directive

The European Commission today launched a public consultation on information provided to consumers about the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of new cars. Stakeholders and the general public are invited to submit their views on how such information can be made clearer and more consistent. Studies have shown that the CO2 labelling directive in force is not working as well as it could and needs to be amended.

The survey is designed to gather feedback on awareness of the directive and the experiences of respondents, and to consider in particular information provided to consumers regarding the fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions of new cars in car showrooms and advertisements.

The Commission is committed to reducing CO2 emissions from cars, which account for some 12% of overall EU emissions of CO2. This strategy includes legislation on the average emission levels of new passenger cars, but also ensures that consumers have sufficient information to choose fuel efficient and low CO2-emitting cars.

The CO2 labelling directive is meant to raise awareness and enable consumers to make informed choices when buying cars. Currently the information must be provided to the consumers as follows:

  • A label on fuel consumption (expressed in litres/100km or miles/gallon) and CO2 emissions (expressed in g CO2/km) displayed on all new cars in the showrooms.
  • National guides on the fuel efficiency of all new cars must be available at the point of sale.
  • Posters must be displayed at dealerships showing the data on fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of all car models for sale.
  • Inclusion of the information on fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in printed promotional literature such as technical manuals, brochures, advertisements in newspapers, magazines and trade press, and posters.

The revised directive will complement the proposed legislation to reduce CO2 emissions from passenger cars to an average of 130 grams of CO2 per kilometre (g/km) by 2012 which is currently under discussion in the European Parliament and Council.