Friday, August 12

The DGT halts the change in environmental labels: the ZERO and ECO categories will remain unaddressed

The new environmental labels will not see the light. “This is not the right time”, explained Pere Navarro, general director of the General Directorate of Traffic.

In the summer of 2020, the Government confirmed that they planned for July this year a change in environmental badges, with the inclusion of a new ‘D’ label for better fit ‘mild-hybrid’ vehicles, which sometimes end up emitting more than some models cataloged with labels B or C. However, this new categorization to classify cars based on their emissions will not arrive during this legislature.

The automobile industry is not in for more reforms

Measure he was months late, with much of the sector wondering what was happening with this. Finally, during a mobility event]organized by Invertia, the head of the DGT has confirmed that the revision of the environmental labels will not arrive at this time.

“The work is done”, they explain from the DGT, but no consensus has been reached between the Government and the automotive sector. In the background is the semiconductor crisis that has notably affected the automotive sector.

Mild Hybrid

The main motivation behind these new labels was to better fit myld-hybrid vehicles, which currently have an ECO label but which in large-displacement models such as the Audi RS 6 Avant or the RS Q8 emit considerably more than many vehicles that, when not being hybrids, they are classified as more polluting.

Not all hybrid cars are the same: why there is a great controversy with the 48V mild hybrids

How the new environmental labels were going to be

The main change proposed was the removal of the ECO label. In its place, a new D label would be added where some of the vehicles that currently fit into that category would be located.

Another difference was the classification of the vehicles as well emission-based (WLTP) and not just the type of technology. This change would affect many plug-in hybrid vehicles, which are currently sometimes labeled ZERO when they do emit emissions.

Five environmental labels were to be kept in the proposal. An unmarked A-label for the most polluting gasoline and diesel cars. A B label for Euro 3 gasoline and Euro 4 and Euro 5 diesel and a C label for Euro 4 gasoline and Euro 6a, 6b and 6c diesel, with the added bonus that they had to meet an emission limit of 137 g / km of CO2.

Additionally, a label D where most of the current Echoes would be located, with some additions of other labels. Here would be the hybrids, from the plug-in, mild-hybrid, gas and also the most modern gasoline such as Euro 5, Euro 6 and Euro 6d diesel, provided they do not exceed 95 g / km of CO2.

As a more respectful label, the ZERO label would continue to exist, but with changes in the inclusion criteria to exclusively cover fully electric cars and those with hydrogen fuel cells. A ZERO label where all vehicles actually emit 0 g / km of CO2.

Plug-in Cars

More margin to buy cars that are not 100% ZERO

Environmental labels are used as a reference for many regulations, such as entry into low-emission zones in cities like Barcelona.

The fact that this new labeling will not be finally switched to will allow consumers to access cars with ZERO and ECO labels in a more generalized way during this time. In the future, the CERO label will be more demanding, but with the DGT’s decision, the margin that will be had to acquire a vehicle with this label is expanded. Some vehicles that are sometimes cheaper, but that will have the most respectful label despite not being purely electric.

Both industry and consumers will therefore have a little more margin to sell and buy cars with more advanced labels. The current labeling was created in 2016 and it seems clear that in the future it will end up being modified to better represent the emissions of each vehicle. Meanwhile, the car industry and its delicate situation are buying a little more time to adapt to the new times.

In Engadget | The plans of Spain and Europe to end gasoline and diesel vehicles