The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) unveiled their new fuel economy window stickers on Wednesday, saying that the new stickers will show the most changes in thirty years. The new labels will allow consumers to compare conventional cars, hybrids and all electric vehicles, giving information on greenhouse gas ratings, emissions, smog ratings, and fuel costs. The new stickers are scheduled to appear on the new 2013 models, but automakers have the option to start using them on on 2012 models as well.
Federal regulators had originally considered using a letter grading system from A to D, comparing fuel economy and air pollution to those of the entire fleet of new cars, but automakers objected, saying that the stickers were too simplistic and potentially misleading to automobile consumer’s. The government instead decided to go with a much busier label with more information and a sliding scale comparing vehicles across classes. According to transportation secretary, Ray LaHood, “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.”
The label will also include a Quick Response Code (QR Code) that can be scanned by a smart phone to get information on cost estimates based on a consumer’s driving habits and the price of gasoline and electricity of their area. This information will also be accessible to vehicle shoppers online.