UK launches CO2 car-ranking website

Posted: 15 August 2007

The British government has set up a website designed to lure consumers towards buying the greenest cars available as the EU prepares to set binding caps on the amount of CO2 that new vehicles can emit.

The 'Act on CO2' website, launched by the UK's Department for Transport on 31 July, aims to direct consumers to the cleanest car model within the vehicle category that they prefer, ranging from the ''super-mini'' and family car categories to executive, 4x4, luxury and performance cars.

The government hopes that 4x4 fans that check out the site may then decide to buy a Hyundai Santa Fe, which emits 191g/km, rather than a Toyota Land Cruiser, which will emit 238g/km, or that families will choose a Citroen C5 or a Peugeot 407, both emitting 140g/km, over a Volkswagen Passat Saloon, which emits 153g/km.

The rankings system - compiled in association with What Car? magazine - is the latest part of the Department's ACT ON CO2 campaign to help tackle climate change.

Transport Minister Jim Fitzpatrick said: "By choosing the car with the most fuel efficient engine in its class, drivers could reduce their engine CO2 emissions by 24 per cent and potentially save a quarter on fuel costs. So the message is simple - the car you choose can help reduce your impact on the environment, and help save money."

The 2006 Toyota Prius hybrid
The 2006 Toyota Prius hybrid
The popular Toyota Prius hybrid small family car is one of the best in the British government's CO2 ranking - it emits only 104g/km.
Raising consumers' awareness about the impact their choice of car can have on the environment and on their fuel consumption is seen as a necessity if the EU is to go ahead with plans to reduce average fleet emissions to under 120g/km by 2012.

The Best on CO2 rankings were developed using emissions data from the Vehicle Certification Agency, the DfT Agency responsible for conducting the official tests to determine CO2 emissions from cars.

The 14 car categories were developed by What Car? magazine, based partly on groupings used by the motor industry to classify cars and partly on their expertise following extensive reader research about perceptions of the market.

The Best on CO2 car categories are: Supermini, Small family, Family, Estate, MPV, Compact Executive, Executive, Coupe, Open-top, Hot hatch, Compact 4x4, Large 4x4, Luxury, Performance Car.