Proposed Fuel Economy Labels Aim to Make Car Buying Easy

The proposed labels will help consumers compare the energy and environmental impacts of different cars, from traditional gasoline-powered cars to electric vehicles.

| September 2010 Web

It goes without saying that the more you know, the better equipped you’ll be to make smart decisions—or at least that’s the reasoning behind a proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation to create new fuel economy labels for cars. The government organizations have proposed two new labels that will help consumers compare the fuel economy and environmental impacts of different cars, from traditional gasoline-powered vehicles to electric and hybrid-electric vehicles.

The EPA and DOT have proposed two new label designs that they want the public to comment on. One design rates the cars on a letter scale ranging from A+ to D and will also provide an estimate of expected fuel cost savings over five years as compared to an average gasoline-powered vehicle of the same model year. The other proposed design will keep the current labels’ focus on miles per gallon and annual fuel costs while updating the design and adding new information on fuel economy and emissions that the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 requires.

For electric vehicles (EV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), the new labels will show energy use by translating electricity consumption into a miles-per-gallon equivalent, as well as expressing consumption in terms of kilowatt-hours per 100 miles.

The labels will also refer consumers to a website for more information as well as a web-based interactive tool that can be accessed by smart phone.

To view the proposed labels and submit your comments on them, visit the EPA’s website.

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