New European website makes choosing a green car easier

The European Union has launched a new website to help consumers identify greener and more efficient vehicles.

The new website, available at, opens up the EU's technical database so that buyers can see the real cost of a new vehicle, which includes the environmental costs.

It provides details on the different technologies used in green vehicles, along with the energy consumption and emissions of vehicles available in European markets.

Because the site is also designed to help public sector buyers as well as private buyers, it contains information on everything from passenger cars, light- and heavy-duty vehicles to buses.

Users can specify an estimated lifetime mileage for a new vehicle and insert the cost of fuel or power to receive information on the predicted operational lifetime cost, comparing cars which they are interested in side-by-side.

The website also features information on the infrastructure of member states, stating for instance that in the UK "only a small number of car parks and parking spaces in the UK currently provide free access to recharging units for daytime 'top-up' refuelling" and in France "the lion's share of EV charging should be done by owner's infrastructure."

Although the website doesn't currently appear to hold data for vehicles such as the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Nissan Leaf and Peugeot iOn, it is expected to be updated as the new models become available.

Last month, the US Environmental Protection Agency issued its ratings for the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt, rating their electric drive at 99 miles per gallon (2.37 l/100km), and 93 miles per gallon (2.53 l/100km) respectively.

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