The UK's Department for Transport has unveiled a new set of vehicle ratings based on how much CO2 they emit per kilometer. The rating scheme, part of the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, uses data from the UK's Vehicle Certification Agency, and is set up as a basic A-F, with "A" ratings going to vehicles putting out less than 100 g/km -- right now, only the Honda Insight and battery electric vehicles, although fuel cell (or even air-powered) cars would presumably also end up with this rating. WorldChanging favorites Prius and Smart are "B" cars, putting out 101-120 g/km; worst of the bunch are the Land Rovers and Lamborghinis and the like, getting an "F" for their greater than 185 g/km emissions. All 42 car brands available in the UK have agreed to participate in the ratings scheme, which is ostensibly voluntary.
As much as the A-F ratings are easily understood, I'm still rather fond of the rating system found in the US for overall emissions. The labels are increasingly grand, and the acronyms sound right out of a science fiction story: LEV (Low Emissions Vehicle), ULEV (Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicle), SULEV (Super-Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicle), PZEV (Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle) and ZEV (Zero Emissions Vehicle). Can I say I'm glad they didn't go with Super-Duper-Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicle?
Hmm could see smog monster and smog monster turbo ultra for the other end of the scale... ducks and sneaks back into his conservative enclave of evilynessess...
Notice that the car getting a 'B' in the sample picture is a diesel. Good for CO2; lousy for PM, NOx etc. I wish we in the UK also had a SULEV type measure. I seem to remember the old Golf TDI got 1/10 in the (USA) EPA emissions score while the Prius gets 10/10. The latest TDI gets 4/10 but is now outlawed in California (I think).
PS Did you notice the fuel economy? 64.2 mpg! (combined) [see GCC picture]