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Citroen Nemo - has a published CO2 figure of 119g/km

Citroen Nemo: already publishes 119g/km CO2

Emission figures to make lower CO2 van choice easier

Long-awaited moves to publish CO2 emissions figures for light commercial vehicles could be hastened by a new European Union initiative.

UK Van manufacturers last week said they would publish CO2 emissions figures for their vehicles.

But the EU wants to introduce a more stringent labelling system showing fuel consumption and emissions levels of all vehicles. Today (02 June) it launched a public consultation on the proposed scheme.

The EU believes the CO2 labelling directive in force is not working as well as it could – and the lack of data on UK vans is not helping.

Van manufacturers have been required to register the CO2 emissions for all new vans since 01 January, 2008, but the CO2 figures for vans sold in the UK have not been published.

Manufacturers have argued that it is difficult to estimate the CO2 figures due to the vastly different uses of similar vans – especially in terms of weight and body configuration.

For example, a van with a small engine could be chosen on the grounds of a low CO2 figure while driven unladen. But fully laden, that van could produce higher emissions than a larger-engined version, as the small engine would have to work harder to carry the load.

However, some other EU states, notably Germany, have published CO2 figures. And now the SMMT, Department for Transport and the Vehicle Certification Agency are getting together to devise a workable scheme, possibly by the end of the year.

This may involve publishing laden and unladen figures for each vehicle, giving best-case and worst-case scenarios.

Frank Reynolds, small business specialist for National, commented: “National was the first daily rental company to include average CO2 emissions in each car group, so we see this as a positive step.

“When the Van CO2 emissions become available, we will be extending that information to our customers, to help them make more informed decisions about their choice of van rentals.”

The move has been welcomed by agencies such as the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), but raises fears that the government will use the figures to levy higher VED rates on van users, based on CO2 emissions.

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