From: Andy Soos, ENN
Published May 26, 2011 01:15 PM

Fuel Economy Labels by EPA

What car is better at least in terms of fuel use, costs and environmental benefits. The decision will never be simple. The U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have released new fuel economy labels that will help consumers take advantage of the increased efficiency standards achieved under the Obama Administration. The new labels, which are the most dramatic overhaul to fuel economy labels since the program began more than 30 years ago, will provide more comprehensive fuel efficiency information, including estimated annual fuel costs, savings, as well as information on each vehicle’s environmental impact. These improvements will give consumers better, more complete information to consider when purchasing new vehicles that are covered by the increased fuel economy standards. Starting with model year 2013, the improved fuel economy labels will be required to be affixed to all new passenger cars and trucks – both conventional gasoline powered and “next generation” cars, such as plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles.


Upon taking office, President Obama directed DOT and EPA to prioritize the development of new fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions standards, resulting in the new standards that will be represented by these labels. This is the latest step in EPA’s and DOT’s joint efforts to improve the fuel economy and environmental performance of vehicles and to provide consumers with useful information to inform their purchasing decisions.

The new label will provide:

-New ways to compare energy use and cost between new-technology cars that use electricity and conventional cars that are gasoline-powered.

-Useful estimates on how much consumers will save or spend on fuel over the next five years compared to the average new vehicle.

-Easy-to-read ratings of how a model compares to all others for smog emissions and emissions of pollution that contribute to climate change. This is a relative comparison of vehicles and their potential to emit pollutants.

-An estimate of how much fuel or electricity it takes to drive 100 miles.

-Information on the driving range and charging time of an electric vehicle.

-A QR Code®1 that will allow users of smartphones to access online information about how various models compare on fuel economy and other environmental and energy factors. This tool will also allow consumers to enter information about their typical commutes and driving behavior in order to get a more precise estimate of fuel costs and savings.

The new labels will begin appearing in dealer showrooms in 2012 when the 2013 models begin to go on display or earlier if automakers voluntarily adopt the new labels for model year 2012 vehicles.

As always the individual consumer will have to interpret and decide what is best for them. The new label provides a new way to compare relative value.

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Photo: EPA

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