Half of motorists want to ‘go green’ when buying new car

A survey commissioned by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) and the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) has found that motorists considering a new car are now more concerned about ‘going green’ – with 50% saying that environmental friendliness has become more important to them in the last year. 

In the same survey, despite today’s record low fuel prices, almost as many (43%) potential buyers said that running costs are also now more important than they were. 

To help drivers easily identify the most efficient environmentally friendly cars available, a new car environmental label is now in use at all new car dealerships. This enables showroom visitors to instantly see which new cars have the lowest emissions, running costs and longest electric range, making it easier to compare and find the new car most suitable for them. 

The new car environmental label has been redesigned by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (working with the Department for Transport and Vehicle Certification Agency) to include additional valuable information that’s clearer, easier to follow and actively encourages motorists to consider low or zero- emissions cars. 

A new ‘running costs’ section allows motorists to instantly see how their monthly costs can vary between vehicles, emphasising the big savings possible from electric and the most fuel-efficient cars. And because costs are a key motivator, this is one of the best ways to persuade buyers to adopt the very cleanest vehicles. 

There’s more detail on a car’s tailpipe emissions, including being able to drive in Clean Air Zones (which all new cars can) and if the car qualifies as a ‘ULEV’ (Ultra Low Emission Vehicle). The level of CO2 emissions is very clearly shown too, making it obvious which cars produce the least greenhouse gas. 

For plug-in hybrids and pure electric cars, the electric range has been detailed, helping motorist understand just how capable today’s electric cars are – and their suitability for almost every journey. 

All the information on these labels uses the latest more reliable and robust WLTP figures, which should be specific to the car on display. 

The new car environmental label is found next to every new car on display in car showrooms or at events. There are three versions – one for petrol and diesel cars, one for plug-in hybrids (shown above) and a third for pure electric. 

“It’s very understandable that motorists now have a desire for more efficient, environmentally friendly new cars that cost less to run with very low or zero emissions” commented Jason Doran, head of marketing at LowCVP; “They may however be surprised just what a difference this can make: a typical petrol car might cost around £95 per month in fuel, whereas a pure electric car only £26. That’s a saving of over £800 a year, all with zero tailpipe emissions**. All this information and more is now very clearly shown on the redesigned new car environmental label.” 

Sue Robinson, director of the NFDA, said: “With the increasing importance of running costs and environmental friendliness, it is crucial that motorists are enabled to choose the latest, low and zero emission cars that are best suited to their needs and lifestyle. Franchised retailers play a key role in informing their customers and the new car environmental label will represent a very useful tool.” 

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