U.S. adopts new fuel-economy window stickers (video)

  • 31-May-2011 09:03 EDT

Reflected in the window of this car is U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood at a May 24 press conference revealing the new label. The one shown is for a conventional diesel vehicle. (Julie Fischer McCarter for DOT)

NHTSA (U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) and the U.S. EPA have re-engineered the fuel-economy label that is part of the window sticker on new cars. Starting with model year 2013, the labels will provide additional information such as: estimated annual fuel costs (based on 15,000 mi and $3.70/gal or $0.12/kW·h); estimated fuel cost savings (or, for gas guzzlers, the extra cost) over time compared to "the average new vehicle" (22 mpg); relative amount (on a 1 to 10 scale) of emissions of smog (no specific figures given) and of greenhouse gases (given in g CO2/mi); and fuel consumption (gal/100 mi or kW·h/100 mi). The new label "system" is being overhauled for the first time since it was introduced more than 30 years ago and features separate labels for seven different categories of vehicles including electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles. When choosing the label design, NHTSA and EPA opted against a controversial one in which large letter grades would have been included for fuel economy and greenhouse-gas emissions. Automakers are encouraged to use the new label on MY2012 vehicles as well as MY2013 and beyond. (Click here to see a video about how consumers can use their smartphones to store information from labels.)

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