15.2.2013 Fuel economy label to include EVs
This week sees the launch of a new Fuel Economy Label for electric vehicles, which includes information on each model’s expected energy usage and fuel cost over one year.
The existing label, which displays a vehicle’s fuel economy and low CO2 emissions for all new petrol and diesel cars, has been updated to include new vehicle technologies including battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids.
As part of an industry voluntary agreement, the Fuel Economy Label is available to consumers in advertising and promotional literature, and in car showrooms placed on or near all new cars. The aim of the label is to help consumers select models with high fuel economy and low CO2 emissions, in a drive to promote the sales of low-emissions cars.
The new label for electric cars was made possible by the rewriting of The Passenger Car (Fuel Consumption and CO2 Emissions Information) Regulations 2001, which were drafted at a time when EVs were not a realistic alternative to conventional cars.
The new regulations now include cars which "do not emit CO2, hydrocarbons or carbon monoxide" while being driven. This will enable consumers considering buying electric or fuel cell cars to have the same access to information as those buying traditional vehicles.
Working through the consultancy Ecolane, Dr Ben Lane, who is also Managing Editor at Next Green Car, headed up a major research study to test a series of new label designs in preparation for the inclusion of electric and plug-in electric vehicles; a project commissioned by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership.
According to Lane: "One of the key findings of the research was that car buyers wanted to see similar fuel use and cost information for EVs so they could compare them with conventional vehicles. They also wanted to have additional information specific to EVs such as driving range to help them decide whether a particular model would suit their driving requirements."
The new labels, which are available for battery and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles from 11 February 2013, allow space for supplementary information about electric and other low emission vehicles to be added on a voluntary basis by manufacturers, to help consumers make better informed choices.
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