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CO2nfused Britain - Motor Show Reveals 85% Don't Understand Car Emissions


LONDON – July 16, 2008: Research released today by The British International Motor Show, sponsored by Zurich Connect, reveals a high level of confusion surrounding car emissions and greener driving technology. Most people (85%) do not know their own car’s emissions level, over half admit to feeling confused about emissions (60%) and do not know which tax band their car falls into (52%), even though nearly three quarters (70%) say they care about reducing emissions when driving.

It also found most people (84%) do not know if an emission rate of 100gs of carbon dioxide per km is a high or a low value (it’s considered very low). And more than half (58%) think electric vehicles have exhaust pipes whilst a quarter (25%) believe that biofuel is CO2 free.

Common misconceptions when it comes to greener driving terminology include:

Electric cars
Over half (58%) do not realise electric vehicles don’t have exhaust pipes A fifth (17%) think they produce CO2 from their exhausts One in six (15%) think water comes out of electric car’s engines A minority (4%) even electric cars emit battery acid

A quarter of people (25%) think biofuel produces no CO2 at all One in five (18%) think ‘biofuel’ is a car that uses two types of fuel

Almost a third (30%) were found to believe hybrid vehicles run on biofuels alone A very confused minority (4%) think a hybrid car is two cars welded together

Paul Everitt, Chief Executive of The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said: “This year, The British International Motor Show will showcase the biggest collection of ‘greener’ vehicles, zero-emissions vehicles and ‘green’ automotive technologies the UK has ever seen under one roof. If people feel confused about the issues around greener driving they should come along to the show and find out for themselves.”

Stunning electric vehicles on show include two two-seater sports cars - the Electric Lightning GT and the Tesla Roadster. The Show also boasts the Ze-o, the first family size, five-seater MPV showcased by leading EV retailer, NICE, as well as models from G-Wiz and the new brand Quiet Cars.

Honda will reveal a light weight, low-emission sports car as well as showcasing their new fuel cell car, the Honda FCX Clarity. Other low-emission cars include Ford’s Fiesta ECOnetic, Citroen’s C-Cactus, Cadillac’s hydrogen powered SUV Provoq, Morgan’s hydrogen powered Life Car and Opel’s MPV concept car Flextreme.

Associated organisations include ACT ON CO2, the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership and who champion responsible transport usage. Show visitors can head to the ACT ON CO2 stand for practical tips and advice on how fuel-efficient driving and car choice can save money and reduce CO2. The way you drive and look after your car can affect its CO2 emissions and your fuel bill more than you think. Simple things like: Making sure your tyres are correctly pumped up Changing up a gear earlier, to keep your revs low Avoiding carrying around unnecessary clutter in your boot

The Show runs from 23 July – 3 August at ExCeL London and more information can be found at

The research found that while most (70%) people care about reducing CO2 emissions when driving, worryingly, over a third of men don’t care at all (38%). Nearly two thirds (60%) of us go as far as to admit that we feel confused about how to reduce emissions when driving – but interestingly, only 43% of men admit to being confused. Only just over a third (35%) of us has ever sought advice on how to reduce emissions.

Driving habits
The Show found that many of us indulge in bad habits when driving that increase emissions without even realising. These habits include:

  • A third (33%) keep their boot full of unessential items, adding weight and causing increased pressure on the engine.
  • A quarter drive with under inflated tyres (26%), increasing resistance and making the engine work harder.
  • 11% over rev their engines wasting fuel and increasing engine wear.
  • The show found many people mistakenly believe the only way to be greener in a car is to stay at home (61%).