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Green NCAP: how sustainable is your car?

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In the near future, when you buy or lease a car, you will be able to see at a glance how environmentally friendly it is. Using a score of zero to five stars, the international Green NCAP label rates vehicles in terms of ecological responsibility.

Governments, mobility organisations, universities and consumer associations from eight European countries have come together to develop the sustainability label Green NCAP. It is analogous with the Euro NCAP, which rates car safety. In Belgium, the test programme is carried out by mobility organisation Touring and consumer association Test Aankoop. The initiators underline that the eco label not only helps consumers, but will also encourage manufacturers to compete with each other in terms of environmentally friendly credentials.

Emissions and efficiency

How many stars a car earns is determined by its emissions and energy efficiency. Green NCAP takes into account the use of the car, and the amount of CO2, particulate matter, soot and other pollutants it emits. Tests are done not only in the lab but also on the road. For the most part, these tests are based on the new legal test cycles RDE and WLTP and so complement these.

So far, twelve models have undergone the test procedure, and in every case the bestselling version of the model has been rated. Cars that got zero stars satisfied the legal norms, but did no better than that. Generally, smaller hatchbacks score better, and at the moment the only cars with the maximum score of five stars are electric. Hybrid cars are yet to be tested.

Full life cycle

It is not certain whether electric cars will still score the highest in the future. That is because the plan is to also take account of the full life cycle of cars. Was the vehicle made in a sustainable way? How is it used? Which parts can be recycled? By doing this, Green NCAP aims to make a more realistic assessment of a car's total impact on the environment.

You can find more information and the scores of all tested models on www.greenncap.com.

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