Consumers' green choices can be wrong

Research into consumer beliefs by German site Handleskontor has highlighting a particularly odd form of nationalism when it comes to car buying. Despite widespread reports of ‘defeat devices;’ and emissions scandals, the Germ car buying public still rate German made cars as environmentally friendly – indeed rating them as in the highest bracket.

Germans believe that BMW and Mercedes-Benz rank alongside Toyota in building the most environmentally friendly vehicles, yet Handelskontor has pointed out that the opposite is true and that in fact new Mercedes-Benz cars have average CO2 emissions of 140.9g/km, making them the worst offenders.

Toyota comes in at the other end of the scale with an average of 97.5g/km, according to data from the industry portal JATO.

Besides Mercedes, CO2 emissions from Audis and BMWs are also above average. The situation at VW – the source of the emissions scandal - is somewhat better. Nevertheless, Toyota is well ahead in terms of sustainability. Vehicles from French brands Citroen, Peugeot and Renault also emit significantly less CO2 than those from German premium manufacturers. However, just 6 per cent of Germans think of Renault as a particularly environmentally friendly car manufacturer.

Not that all the news is bad, the most recent developments demonstrate that manufacturers are also putting their money where their mouth is with the emissions figures for the 1.2 million new cars sold in the first half of 2020 being 4.4 per cent lower than the figures for those sold in the same period of the previous year.

Almost all brands showed improvements, including the traditional German manufacturers. BMW reduced its CO2 emissions by 9 per cent, Mercedes by 6.6 per cent, while for Audi and VW the reduction was 5.6 per cent and 4.8 per cent respectively.

The research serves to highlight the gap between perception and reality of what is really ‘green’ and the challenge that may be faced in attempting to educate the public about wider issues of environmental care.

    Share Story:

Recent Stories