New Fuel-Economy Stickers Actually Display Car's Fuel Economy

The U.S. Department of Transportation and Environmental Protection Agency have rolled out the biggest redesign of the car window stickers that display a vehicle’s estimated fuel efficiency since the labels were introduced. The new stickers, designed to be easier to read and to provide more information about fuel savings and costs, will be required for all 2013 cars.

According to the EPA, the new labels include:

  • New ways to compare energy use and cost between new-technology cars that use electricity and conventional cars that are gasoline-powered.
  • Useful estimates on how much consumers will save or spend on fuel over the next five years compared to the average new vehicle.
  • Easy-to-read ratings of how a model compares to all others for smog emissions and emissions of pollution that contribute to climate change.
  • An estimate of how much fuel or electricity it takes to drive 100 miles.
  • Information on the driving range and charging time of an electric vehicle.
  • A QR Code that will allow users of smartphones to access online information about how various models compare on fuel economy and other environmental and energy factors.

The old labels were long criticized by consumer advocates for not including enough information, and not presenting it in a way that car-buyers could easily interpret.

Jim Guest, President of Consumers Union, joined Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson at a news conference to announce the new stickers, and said they would “make it much easier for car shoppers to compare vehicles for fuel efficiency.”

According to a new Consumer Reports survey, 62% of drivers plan to get a more fuel-efficient model the next time they buy a car, and 58% say they’re willing to pay more for better mileage.

New Fuel Economy and Environment Labels for a New Generation of Vehicles [EPA]
New fuel efficiency labels on cars helps consumers [Consumers Union]