Skip navigation
Journal article

CO2 labelling of passenger cars in Europe: Status, challenges, and future prospects

This article reviews the status of EU car labeling schemes and recommends changes to improve consumer choice.

Gary Haq / Published on 24 May 2016

Read the paper  Closed access


Haq, G. and Weiss, M. (2016). CO2 labelling of passenger cars in Europe: status, challenges, and future prospects. Energy Policy, 95. 324-35. .

The European Commission is currently evaluating Directive 1999/94/EC, which requires EU Member States to ensure that consumers are informed about the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of new passenger cars. In support of the evaluation, the authors assess the status of car labeling in the EU.

They find that all EU Member States have formally implemented national car labelling schemes. However, relevant information is not presented to consumers in a uniform manner. Only 13 Member States have implemented graphic labels that differ in their design, metrics, and classification of vehicles. The fuel consumption data displayed to consumers underrate yearly fuel costs in the order of several hundred euro per car.

The authors argue that car labeling can be made more effective if member states adopt: (i) a uniform label that mirrors, as far as feasible, the design of the EU energy label, (ii) data and classification metrics that accurately reflect the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions observed by consumers, and (iii) a labeling scale that allows differentiation between efficient hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles. By following these recommendations, the European car labeling can receive wider recognition and foster well-informed consumer choices.

Read the article

(external link to journal)

Read Gary Haq’s blog about car labelling, air quality and reducing carbon emissions »

Read the paper

Closed access

SEI author

Gary Haq, Senior Research Assoicate at SEI
Gary Haq

Senior Research Associate

SEI York

Read the paper
10.1016/j.enpol.2016.04.043 Closed access
Topics and subtopics
Climate : Climate policy / Energy : Transport
Related centres
SEI York

Design and development by Soapbox.