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What is the Ecoscore of a vehicle?

The Ecoscore is an environmental score for vehicles. In other words, this score provides an indication of the overall environmental friendliness of a vehicle. Therefore, various damage categories are taken into account: global warming, air quality (health effects and effects on ecosystems) and noise. The applied environmental review allows combining these different effects into one single indicator. The method used in this perspective is the well-to-wheel approach. This takes into account both tank-to-wheel (exhaust emissions caused by driving a vehicle) and well-to-tank emissions (emissions from production and distribution of the fuel (petrol, diesel, LPG, electricity, etc.)) will be charged (see question on how Ecoscore is calculated). The great advantage of this method is that vehicles with different fuels and different technologies can be compared with the same indicator. The emissions associated with the production of the vehicle and the recycling or after use-processing, are not taken into account.

The Ecoscore is expressed as a value between 0 and 100: the higher the score, the more environmentally friendly the vehicle will be.

The difference between Ecoscore and CO2 emission:

Currently, the CO2 emissions are always mentioned for new cars. They pop up in advertisements as well. Some manufacturers market 'environmentally friendly cars' that emit few CO2. Nevertheless, these CO2 emissions do not tell us anything about the other emission types like particulates (PM). Therefore, a car with a low CO2 emission level is not necessarily an environmentally friendly vehicle. On top of CO2, Ecoscore further takes into account the other emissions, en therefore provides the total picture.

The difference between the Ecoscore and the Euro standard:

A new type of vehicle that is introduced always has to meet certain conditions. For example, Europe imposes certain restrictions regarding emissions of NOx, CO, hydrocarbons and particulate matter (soot). Each period, these 'Euro standards' are becoming stricter and are assigned a higher number. Since 2011, for example, the passenger car Euro 5 standard came into force for all cars, which is stricter than the previous Euro 4 standard.
Nevertheless, this Euro standard does not provide an overall picture on the environmentally friendliness of your car, as it does not take CO2 emissions into account. There is also an important difference between the restrictions on petrol cars and diesel cars. A Euro 4 diesel car is not as environmentally friendly as a Euro 4 petrol car. Even within the same fuel type and the same Euro standard, important emission differences can exist. For example, a Euro 4 diesel with a particulate filter emits at least 90% less particulates than a Euro 4 diesel without a particulate filter.
The Ecoscore takes into account the specific emissions of each individual car and furthermore takes into account CO2 emissions. Therefore, the Ecoscore provides a general evaluation.

last database update: 12/05/2022 - next database update planned for: 15/07/2022
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