Environment and Climate

Power efficiency

Most people purchasing a car in Germany primarily want to know what its fuel consumption and fuel costs are.

Passenger vehicle Labeling

Anyone buying a car in Germany wants to know, above all, what its fuel consumption is. That is why the German Energy Agency (dena) recommends car buyers look at the passenger vehicle label. The label provides all the energy data at a glance.

As a basic matter of principle, EU Directive 1999/94/EC requires consumers to be provided with standardized information on fuel consumption and CO₂ emissions for new cars. Exactly how this information is to be presented will, however, be left to the individual European countries themselves. Manufacturers and dealers have already been required since 2004 to provide information about fuel consumption and CO₂ emissions for new passenger vehicles under the passenger vehicle energy consumption labeling ordinance (Pkw-EnVKV). This labeling was significantly improved in 2011: since then, instead of a fact sheet, there has been a readily comprehensible color-coded scale informing the customer directly at the moment of purchase about a new vehicle’s CO₂ performance.

In the same way as with domestic electric appliances, the label provides information on the efficiency class into which the new car falls: vehicles with significantly better CO₂ values than the average for their “weight class” are classified green, vehicles that are average are labeled amber and vehicles that are below average are labeled red. As future passenger car CO₂ values improve, the system will be progressively tightened up.

The passenger car label enables a sensible, at-a-glance comparison between vehicles of the same class. At the same time, it encourages manufacturers, for competitive reasons, to make their vehicles more efficient – be it a compact or a family car. To that extent, according to dena, the passenger car label provides a valuable contribution to climate protection. Admittedly, the passenger car label needs to be amended in the context of the introduction of the new test procedure for fuel consumption (WLTP). You will find detailed information on the passenger car label at www.pkw-label.de.

Tire labeling

EU Regulation (EC) 661/2009 envisages mandatory tire labeling for tires in the spare parts business. This labeling describes the rolling resistance (fuel pump symbol), the wet-weather adhesion (rain symbol) and the tire road noise (sound wave symbol) and is divided into classes A to G. The label is capable of further improvement: experts consider up to 20 attributes to be required for consumer information. The revision by the EU Commission planned for 2014 is still awaited.

Tires should possess comfortable suspension characteristics, be long-lasting, cause little road noise, exhibit the lowest-possible rolling resistance and possess good breaking performance in wet weather. These diverse requirements are, to some extent, physically mutually contradictory, for example the reduction in rolling resistance and the shorter braking distance.

Dr. Martin Koers
Dr. Martin Koers Head of Department Economic and climate protection policy

Tel: +49 30 897842-350 Fax: +49 30 897842-600
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