BRUSSELS - All new cars will have to carry fuel economy labels if a new European Commission proposal becomes law. The EC wants to increase consumer pressure for more fuel-efficient vehicles.
The proposal follows an EU agreement with ACEA, the European automakers' association, to lower CO2 emissions to an average of 140 grams per kilometer by 2008. That would mean an average fuel economy of 5.6 liters per 100 kilometers for European makers. Average CO2 emissions in 1995 were 186g/km, or 7.4 liters/100km.
ACEA said it supports the labelling program.
The EU hopes the directive could be in effect by 2000. Details are being discussed.
The EC is proposing that:
A label giving a vehicle's fuel economy and CO2 output would be attached to each new car at the point of sale.
Dealerships would display a poster in showrooms containing the fuel efficiency and CO2 output of each model.
New vehicle promotional material would include information about fuel economy.
Each of the 15 member states would be responsible for its own national program.
A free fuel economy guide listing the ratings of new cars sold would be available in printed and electronic form.
European Environment Commissioner Ritt Bjerregaard said the aim is to persuade buyers to choose more fuel-efficient models. She said labelling and the information program could put pressure on manufacturers to lower fuel consumption.
But unlike US legislation, the CO2/fuel consumption limit agreed with the EU does not apply to individual makers. The average fleet consumption of all ACEA members - representing about 85 percent of all European vehicle sales - would be averaged together. The fuel economy levels for manufacturers of high-performance cars would be offset by more efficient vehicles sold by volume makes.