Early Wednesday, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood held a joint press conference in which they unveiled a new, national fuel economy label for vehicles.
Reducing the burden of increased gas prices on American families is a priority for the Obama administration, said the heads of both departments. It’s their belief that the updated, easier to understand labels will help consumers take advantage of increased efficiency standards.
Starting with model year 2013, manufacturers will be required to affix the improved fuel economy labels to all new passenger cars and trucks –- both conventional gasoline powered and “next generation” cars, such as plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles.
It has been over 30 years since the fuel economy labels have been overhauled.
The labels now provide more comprehensive fuel efficiency information, including estimated annual fuel costs, potential savings, as well as an assessment of each vehicle’s environmental impact.
“Today’s car buyers want the best possible information about which cars on the lot offer the greatest fuel economy and the best environmental performance,” said EPA Administrator Jackson. “The new labels provide comprehensive information to American car buyers, helping them make a choice that will save money at the gas pump and prevent pollution in the air we breathe.”
One of the most notable additions to the fuel economy labels is a QR code that will make it easy for smartphone users to estimate fuel costs and savings when shopping for a vehicle.
By scanning the code with their smartphone, users will have access to online information about how various models compare on fuel economy and other environmental and energy factors, such as how much a kWh of electricity costs in their neighborhood.
The tool will also allow consumers to enter personal information about their typical commutes and driving behavior in order to get a more precise estimate of fuel costs and savings.
For those without smartphones, the same customizable tools can be found at www.fueleconomy.gov.
Image Credit: EPA.gov