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Government Unveils New Fuel Economy Sticker

May 27, 2011

On Wednesday, the federal government unveiled new fuel economy window stickers for vehicles starting with the 2013 model year.

The stickers will include estimated annual fuel costs and the vehicle’s overall environmental impact.

The new labels represent the first big change to the sticker program’s 35-year history. 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation dismissed another design that would have prominently displayed a letter grade from A to D, comparing a given vehicle’s fuel economy and air pollution to those of the entire fleet of new cars.

Instead, the government adopted another label with more information and a sliding scale comparing vehicles across classes.

“These labels will provide consumers with up front information about a vehicle’s fuel costs and savings so that they can make informed decisions when purchasing a new car,” Ray LaHood, the transportation secretary, said in a statement.

The stickers will include a greenhouse gas rating, comparing vehicle’s emissions of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases with those of all other vehicles. 

The labels will include an estimated annual fuel cost based on 15,000 miles traveled at a fuel price of $3.70 per gallon as well as an estimate of how much more or less the vehicle will cost to operate for five years.

The EPA said the new gallons-per-mile metric would provide consumers a more accurate measure of efficiency and expense than the traditional miles-per-gallon figure.

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