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EPA, DOT unveil next generation of fuel economy labels

New fuel economy labels underscore the benefits of the bipartisan passenger car and truck fuel economy rule adopted by the EPA and DOT in 2010. WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently unveiled new fuel economy labels designed to help consumers take advantage of increased efficiency standards that the Obama Administration says will save families money at the pump starting this year.

The new labels, which are the most dramatic overhaul to fuel economy labels since the program began more than 30 years ago, are crafted to provide more comprehensive fuel efficiency information, including estimated annual fuel costs, savings, as well as information on each vehicle’s environmental impact.

The new labels underscore the benefits of the bipartisan passenger car and truck fuel economy rule adopted by the EPA and DOT in 2010.  

Here is the idea: Improvements to give consumers better, more complete information to consider when purchasing new vehicles that are covered by the increased fuel economy standards.  Starting with model year 2013, the improved fuel economy labels will be required to be affixed to all new passenger cars and trucks – both conventional gasoline powered and “next generation” cars, such as plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles.

Upon taking office, President Obama directed DOT and EPA to prioritize the development of new fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions standards, resulting in the standards that will be represented by the new labels.

The 2010 fuel economy rule, developed with input from major automakers, environmental groups, and the states, will dramatically increase the energy efficiency of cars and trucks built in model years 2012 through 2016, saving 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the life of the program and the average consumer $3,000 in fuel costs.   

In July, the administration plans to complete the first-ever national fuel economy and greenhouse gas emission standards for commercial trucks, vans and buses built in 2014 to 2018.  The standards are expected to save hundreds of millions of barrels of oil over the life of these vehicles and promote the development and deployment of alternative fuels, including natural gas. The administration is also developing the next generation of joint fuel economy/greenhouse gas emission standards for model year 2017-2025 passenger vehicles and expects to announce the proposal in September 2011.

(More information on the new label can be found at:  www.epa.gov/otaq/carlabel/index.htm and www.nhtsa.gov/fuel-economy.)

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