New definition for green cars on the way

The Swedish Road Administration (Vägverket) has put forward a new definition of eco-friendly for cars purchased by the state which excludes 60 percent of models currently classified as green.

Among cars excluded from the new definition are the Saab 9-3 Biopower and the Volvo C 30 1.8 F.

The results of Vägverket’s inquiry have been handed over to the government and the rules are set to take effect at the start of 2009, writes the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper.

According to Vägverket’s proposal, the definition of an eco-friendly car is to be complimented with a safety requirement. To earn a green designation, cars purchased for use by the state must also have an anti-skidding system and a five-star crash rating, as well as an additional two stars in pedestrian protections from the European safety organization, Euro NCAPS.

The new definition excludes 74 car models out of 145 currently classified as eco-friendly. Most of them are small vehicles.

Several auto experts expect the tougher definition of green cars to eventually apply to vehicles sold to individuals as well.