Information on the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of new cars
To help consumers choose vehicles with low fuel consumption, the European Union requires dealers in new passenger cars to provide potential buyers with useful information on these vehicles' fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. This information must be displayed on the car's label, on posters and other promotional material, and in specific guides.
Directive 1999/94/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 1999 relating to the availability of consumer information on fuel economy and CO2 emissions in respect of the marketing of new passenger cars [See amending act(s)].
At the December 1997 Kyoto Conference on climate change, the Community undertook to reduce its emissions of a basket of greenhouse gases by 8% during the period 2008 to 2012 relative to 1990 levels. This Directive is part of an overall Community strategy aimed at meeting this commitment to reduce CO2 emissions, in particular those caused by passenger cars.
The purpose of the Directive is to ensure that information relating to the fuel economy and CO2 emissions of new passenger cars offered for sale or lease in the Community is made available to consumers. This consumer information system is to be set up using the following four methods:
- attaching a fuel consumption and CO2 emissions label to the vehicle;
- producing a fuel consumption and CO2 emissions guide;
- displaying posters in car showrooms;
- including fuel consumption and CO2 emissions data in promotional material.
The Directive stipulates that a fuel economy label must be attached to the windscreen of all new passenger cars at the point of sale. This label must be clearly visible and meet certain requirements set out in Annex I. In particular, it must contain an estimate of fuel consumption, expressed in litres per 100 kilometres or in kilometres per litre (or in miles per gallon), and of CO2 emissions.
A fuel economy guide must be produced at national level at least once a year. It must set out all the information specified in Annex II, including a list of the 10 most fuel-efficient new car versions in terms of their CO2 emissions by fuel type. This guide must be compact, portable and free of charge. Consumers must be able to obtain it both at the point of sale of the dealer and from a designated body within each Member State. In addition, the Commission will make available an electronic version of the guide, accessible on the Internet.
For each make on sale, the dealer must display on posters or in any other form (including electronic displays) a list of the fuel consumption data of all the models. These data should be broken down by type of fuel and ranked in order of fuel efficiency as indicated by CO2 emission levels.
The Directive also provides that promotional material (advertisements in newspapers, posters, brochures) used in marketing new cars must contain fuel consumption and CO2 emissions data.
The Directive requires the prohibition of any marking relating to fuel consumption which does not comply with the above provisions and which might cause confusion.
Member States must notify the Commission of the competent body or bodies responsible for the implementation and functioning of the consumer information scheme.
The Commission is assisted by the committee set up under the Directive on the indication of the energy consumption of household appliances.
Consumer information, achieved by means of labels showing a vehicle's CO2 emissions, is one of the three pillars of the strategy the EU adopted in 1995 to reduce CO2 emissions. The other two pillars are a voluntary commitment by automobile manufacturers to reduce CO2 emissions and the promotion of fuel-efficient cars via fiscal measures.
|Act||Entry into force||Deadline for transposition in the Member States||Official Journal|
|Directive 1999/94/EC||18.1.2000||18.1.2001||OJ L 12, 18.1.2000|
|Amending acts||Entry into force||Deadline for transposition in the Member States||Official Journal|
|Directive 2003/73/EC||25.7.2003||24.7.2004||OJ L 186, 25.7.2003|
Regulation (EC) No 1882/2003
|20.11.2003||-||OJ L 284, 31.10.2003|
|Regulation (EC) No 1137/2008||
OJ L 311, 21.11.2008