New fuel-economy labels will soon give car shoppers more information about energy consumption than ever before, enabling direct comparisons among vehicles with different powertrains right in the showroom or on a dealer’s lot. In an exclusive video, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood explains the benefits of the new window stickers and how to read them.
Required on all 2013 model-year cars, these new stickers mark the first revisions since EPA labels were originally required for model-year 1975. Notably, a consumption factor on every window sticker gives a measure of how many gallons of fuel a vehicle uses over 100 miles—the inverse of miles per gallon. And it gives a more accurate comparison of fuel usage between large and small vehicles.
The new stickers will show each car’s total fuel costs over five years, as well as the difference, higher or lower, from a new average 20 mpg car. And the stickers will incorporate greenhouse gas emissions ratings (grams of CO2 per 100 miles) and the EPA’s long-time air pollution score, rated on a 1 to 10 scale.
The new labels also include a QR code, a type of bar code that can be scanned with a smartphone camera to connect shoppers to a website for customized the information based on driving habits.
Secretary LaHood further explains the labels in the video below.