Comment on ASA zero emission car ruling

Advertising Standards Authority labels manufacturers ‘zero emissions’ claims misleading

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By George Smeeton

Information on this page correct as of:

Commenting on a ruling about Zero Emission Cars from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) [1] Colin Walker, Head of Transport at the Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) said: “This is a very strange decision – it is accepted practice that cars of all fuel types are assessed by the CO2 they emit from their exhaust pipes. Its why the Government has, this year, introduced a Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate to accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles in the UK.

“It seems perverse that car manufacturers, in an effort to meet the targets they have been set under this mandate for the number of zero emission vehicles that they have to sell, are being told that they can’t market those vehicles as zero emission.

“The reality is that an EV, from being built to being driven to being scrapped, produces three times less CO2 than a petrol vehicle. And that figure will increase as more renewables continue to connect to the UK’s grid. Set against this decision, one has to wonder why the ASA is happy for the likes of Toyota to greenwash their hybrid vehicles as ‘self-charging’ – as if the electricity in their batteries is magically conjured from thin air, rather than from the petrol that’s burnt in their engines. For clarity, it isn’t.”


Notes to editors:

  1. ASA Ruling on BMW (UK) Ltd:

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George Smeeton, Head of Communications, ECIU, Tel: +44 (0)7894 571 153, email: