EPA/DOT Proposed Fuel Economy Labels – Click above for high-res versions
According to the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation are charged with designing new fuel economy labels for vehicle stickers that appear in the window of new vehicles at the dealership. Today the two agencies have put forth a pair of design proposals and are asking the public to comment on which they like better and why.
Both labels have been designed to better incorporate new vehicle types that aren't represented well by the current labels, including mainly electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. In addition to information already provided (fuel economy and estimated annual fuel cost), the new labels would also add such things as indicators for carbon dioxide and other smog-promoting emissions, fuel cost savings compared to an average gasoline-powered vehicle of the same model year and even a QR code that allows smartphones to collect the data.
In order to accommodate the growing crop of EVs and plug-in hybrids, the new proposed labels would also translate the energy usage of such vehicles into a miles per gallon equivalent, or MPGe. In the case of the first label design (the tall, thin one), a letter grade would also be featured prominently that corresponds to a vehicle's overall environmental performance.
You can check out both designs in the gallery below, or head over to epa.gov/fueleconomy and tell these agencies what you think directly. Either way, a new label's on its way, so speak now or forever hold your tongue.