The federal government released new car window labels, which will not only inform consumers of the vehicle’s estimated fuel economy, but will also provide a greenhouse gas rating based on the car’s carbon dioxide emissions.
Developed by the Department of Transportation and Environmental Protection Agency, the new labels will go into effect for all 2013 model-year passenger cars and trucks – conventional gas-powered vehicles, as well as hybrid and electric vehicles. The EPA calls these new labels the “most dramatic overhaul” in the history of the 35-year-old labeling program.
As in previous labels, the new window decals will list the vehicle’s fuel economy – its estimated miles per gallon – but now the labels will include a comparison with the fuel economies of other similar-sized cars. The labels will also provide an estimate of how much money the car will cost or save its driver in fuel compared to similar vehicles over five years.
Using two 1-10 rating systems, where 10 is best, the labels will rank the car among similar vehicles first in smog emissions and then in carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to climate change.
For electric vehicles, the label will note the car’s driving range and charging time. Because the greenhouse gas emissions of an electric vehicle depend on the driver’s electricity source, the website www.fueleconomy.gov will offer a tool where drivers can enter their zip code to estimate their emissions from charging and driving an electric vehicle.
The new labels will also include a Quick Response (QR) code for smartphone users to customize mileage estimates, fuel costs and environmental impacts based on their driving habits and region.