The EPA has revealed all-new fuel-economy labels designed to help car and truck buyers determine new vehicle efficiency and operating costs in a world of burgeoning propulsion choices.The redesigned labels are expected to provide the public with information on fuel economy, energy use, fuel costs and pollution. They are roughly split into three design groups to help buyers compare energy use and cost between conventional fossil-fuel-powered and new-technology vehicles that use electricity and clean fuels. The three groups are:
- Conventional internal-combustion fuels: gasoline, diesel and E85 ethanol, where fuel economy is displayed in miles per gallon (mpg)
- Advanced technology vehicles: compressed natural gas, electricity or hydrogen, where fuel economy is displayed in miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe)
- Plug-in hybrids: vehicles that straddle both of the previous areas will display both MPGe and mpg ratings
Major design elements of each label include:
- 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.
- 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 that will allow smartphone users to access online information about how various models compare on fuel economy and other environmental and energy factors. This tool also will 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.
Automakers may voluntarily adopt new fuel-economy labels for 2012-model-year vehicles. Starting with 2013 model year, the labels will be required.
E85 ethanol label that compares E85 driving range to using gasoline
Compressed natural gas vehicle like the GMC Savana van with fuel economy displayed in MPGe
Parallel (blended) plug-in hybrid vehicle like the Toyota Prius Plug-in or PHEV Ram 1500
Series (range-extending) plug-in hybrid like the Chevrolet Volt
Full electric vehicle like the Nissan Leaf
Hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle like the Honda FCX Clarity