Those who care about the environment have the possibility to be more ecological thanks to ECO cars. These types of vehicles consume less fuel and generate less pollution, although all that glitters is not always gold.
Among the measures that the government has taken to achieve the green objectives set out in the Paris Agreement against climate change, is reducing the pollution generated by road transport. Let’s think that a good part of the current CO2 emissions today come from both cars and trucks, which are used to carry all kinds of products to where they are consumed.
For this reason, one of the measures taken in this regard is to favor the running of less polluting vehicles, promoting both the renewal of older vehicles and the presence of cars with lower consumption and lower emissions. Among them are cars with an ECO label. This labeling of vehicles proposes a system similar to that of household appliances, so that they receive a specific assessment according to the pollution generated and the corresponding fuel consumption.
Advantages of the ECO label
If you want to renew your vehicle, you will surely find cheap cars, but with an inefficient energy label. For this reason, when making a decision, it is a good idea to know the advantages of having an ECO label on your vehicle, in case the additional expense is worth it. These are some of the advantages of hybrid and electric cars compared to traditional ones, with which it is intended to encourage their greater use.
Although these advantages vary according to each municipality or autonomous community, it is true that most of them are common throughout Spain. When it comes to buying cheap new cars, the ECO label can alleviate the cost of the vehicle a bit, since these cars are exempt from paying registration tax. A fee that represents a cost of about 1,000 euros, depending on the price of the car. It is also common for these vehicles to have a mechanical traction vehicle tax rebate. In cities like Madrid or Barcelona, this reaches 75% of the total tax.
Another interesting advantage of displaying the ECO label is the greater accessibility that these vehicles have, especially in large cities. Many of them prevent drivers from accessing urban centers, unless you have a vehicle with this label. They are also allowed to ride on the BUS-HOV lanes, even when they do not have the minimum number of people for it. Finally, it is possible to access other advantages such as free regulated parking areas or free charging points for plug-in vehicles, to name a few.
By the way, if you already have a vehicle and you haven’t received your tag, you’ll have to scratch your pocket to get it. This label is already mandatory in many cities, so if you don’t have it you will have to buy your DGT label at any post office. Its cost is 7.99 euros, including shipping costs.
ECO cars for all tastes
Analyzing the market a bit, there are several ECO cars that we can currently find. For this reason, we have highlighted some of the most famous among users. You might be surprised to find some cheap hybrid SUVs alongside high-end, powerful cars in this selection. Something that shows that the way to assign the ECO rating is somewhat controversial, although we will talk about this later.
Getting into the matter, we find cars like the Hyundai Tucson, in its 48-volt micro-hybrid version, or the Toyota Rav 4, also in a hybrid version. One of the advantages of the hybrid car is precisely that of qualifying almost all vehicles of this type with that ECO label, so a hybrid car will almost always be ECO.
It is also common to find this label on certain smaller or utility vehicles, with different hybrid-type approaches. Among them, we have the Dacia Sandero in its hybrid version with LPG, the Fiat 500 Hybrid or the Renault Clio TCE, mixed with LPG and gasoline. The advantage is that for the high prices of these vehicles we are talking about cheap and very accessible low-consumption cars. As proof, the Sandero starts at a price of 9,629 euros, while the Fiat 500 starts at 10,000 euros. Figures similar to those of the traditional versions of their gasoline namesakes.
Leaving aside the cheap new cars with an ECO label, the premium market includes other interesting options. Among them, quite a few Toyota models that, since the launch of the Prius, have not stopped offering vehicles of all kinds with hybrid motorization and high performance. In fact, it was the first brand to include car batteries with the capacity to power the first hybrid engines on the market.
However, there is more variety in this segment, with proposals such as the Seat Arona, gasoline and natural gas, at a price of about 18,170 euros, the Renault Captur, LPG and gasoline, for about 17,000 euros or the Skoda Kamiq, hybrid CNG and gasoline, with a price starting at 18,275 euros. Models that maintain the design of their traditional versions, although reducing fuel consumption and pollution.
The controversy of the ECO
At this point, perhaps we could think that cars with an ECO label are wonderful. But in reality, not everything is so pretty. And it is that some of the vehicles that we have mentioned before reach consumption of 7 liters or more, as happens with the Sandero TCE or the Renault Clio TCE. Something as strange as seeing huge SUVs and super cars with powerful engines sporting this label.
The problem arises from the lousy approach of the law that grants these labels. As we said before, the ECO label is awarded to almost any hybrid, for example. However, there are hybrid vehicles in which the electric motor does not really move the wheels, but only charges the electrical system and hardly supports the movement. Something that generates higher consumption and reduces the ECO character of these cars.
Fortunately, the government recognizes that this legislation is not as efficient as it should be and that it unfairly favors highly polluting vehicles. For this reason, work is being done to correct the labeling of vehicles according to actual consumption, to stop favoring this type of car, which is really not as green as it seems.
By the way, if all this stuff keeps you up at night, maybe you should get a cervical rectification pillow, which will at least help you rest better while you think about it a bit and decide which new car to buy.