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Nissan spotlights low-CO2 cars with new eco label

Date: 30 October 2008   |   Author:

Nissan has launched a new eco-branding to flag up its greenest models.

Being applied by the end of this year to all cars emitting less than 140g/km, Pure Drive will appear on the Note, Micra, Qashqai and new 1.5-litre diesel Qashqai+2, with the Pixo city car added next summer.

Unlike the route taken by Ford's Econetic or VW's Bluemotion, the Pure Drive badge will be applied to all models that get below the CO2 figure, rather than the lowest model in each range, similar to Peugeot's sub-130g/km BlueLion branding.

"It's important we signpost to customers which models have the strongest green credentials," Nissan UK boss Paul Wilcox told BusinessCar.

At the moment the scheme doesn't feature CO2-cutting technology such as stop-start and brake energy regeneration, although gear ratios were altered on the Note to get it below 121g/km.

Wilcox said some of that green technology will follow. "We're investing heavily in improving CO2 performance," he said, with low rolling-resistance tyres coming soon in partnership with parent company Renault.

Nissan Europe product strategy and planning boss Pierre Loing said the brand has to be careful about which technologies it invests in.

"We're looking at stop-start but the question is not so easy for us - the volumes are smaller so we have to make sure when we add technology that we add value for the customer," said Loing. "If you gain 4g/km but it doesn't change the tax bracket then the customer says it's nice, but they don't want to pay for it."

Wilcox also promised further new models under the Pure Drive banner. While he wouldn't be drawn on their identity, the obvious new arrival would be the smaller brother to the Qashqai coming in around a year's time.

Nissan hopes the branding will help educate the corporate sector.

"You need to be clear to decision makers - who are sometimes not today the traditional fleet manager who had the knowledge to make a decision," said Wilcox. "We need to make crystal clear the credentials of our products."