Government plans emissions rating for vehicle's entire lifecycle, from building to scrapping
1 June 2007

Is a Toyota Prius really greener than, say a new BMW 118d? The hybrid Toyota might offer lower CO2 emissions per kilometre, but how much more CO2 is created in manufacturing it?

New-car buyers could soon be in the know, if a government initiative in collaboration with the British Standards Institute and the Carbon Trust goes ahead.

The plan is to develop a method for measuring greenhouse gas emissions in the manufacturing of all products.

Primarily this will be to allow firms to measure the impact their products have on the environment, but it should also lead to labelling that helps consumers buy greener cars.

Inevitably it's extremely hard to account for all of the CO2 produced in manufacturing.

In 2006, US American market research company CNW produced a report that measured the amount of energy cars used throughout their lifecycle, from manufacturing to running to disposal.

Controversially, it indicated that a Jeep Wrangler emits far less CO2 than a Prius when its manufacturing and longer life expectancy are taken into account, despite far higher exhaust emissions per kilometre.

There's no indication yet when the new ratings will be introduced. A government spokesperson said consultation with manufacturers is due to begin this summer.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer
  • Citroën C3
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Is the third gen Citroën C3 ‘fresh and different’ enough to take on its supermini rivals? We spend six months with one to find out
  • BMW X3
    First Drive
    15 October 2017
    A satisfying rework of the X3 that usefully improves its handling, cabin finish, space and connectivity to make this BMW a class front-runner again
  • Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer
    First Drive
    13 October 2017
    Off-road estate is now bigger, more spacious and available with torque-vectoring all-wheel drive, but is it enough to make its German rivals anxious?