Yes, that's right, BMW has been barred from using such phrases in any future marketing campaigns for its ActiveE concept. The European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA) has found the BMW ActiveE design does actually emit CO2 and has since prohibited the company from stretching the truth to sell its products.

BMW ActiveE

The EASA says that although the BMW electric vehicle does not actually emit CO2 directly whilst driving, the car needs electricity to run. The advertisement-governing firm says that charging the vehicle requires systems that emit CO2.

Possibly going too far?

The term 'zero emissions' is thrown about a fair bit these days. Perhaps manufacturers need to tinker with the wording a bit to emphasise the design does not 'directly' emit CO2, because unless you have a push bike connected up to a generator, all electric vehicles pollute the air in some way or another.

What's next though? Manufacturing plants for cars use production machinery and methods that emit CO2. Are they going to take this into account as well, rejecting even the greenest gravity-powered designs of the future from reaching 'zero emission' status?

Anything that is mass-produced has to be considered as damaging to the environment. But the idea behind it is all about, well... as Gillard puts it, 'moving forward'. If cars have come from emitting 400-plus grams of CO2 per kilometre during the days of the carburettor, surely marketing a car that doesn't even have an exhaust pipe is a good thing?