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The EPA's 2008 sticker design (click to enlarge).  (Source: EPA/DOT)

One of the new sticker designs.  (Source: EPA/DOT)

The other proposed new sticker design.  (Source: EPA/DOT)
Sticker is one of two proposed designs, each with new information to help consumers choose their next vehicle

Spiking oil prices in the 1970s inspired the U.S. Congress to pass the Energy Tax Act of 1978, a phased in tax that hits people who buy inefficient vehicles.  Around the same time Congress also mandated that the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation put fuel efficiency labels on all new cars sold at dealerships in the U.S.  Those stickers became a familiar, relatively unchanging sight over the next 30 years.

Starting in 2008, the stickers underwent their first big overhaul.  Today, with new types of automobiles like plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and battery electric vehicles preparing to hit the market, the DOT and EPA are looking to roll out yet another shakeup to the dealership sticker design. 

The government organizations aired two alternative designs for labels today.  The first design more closely resembles the 2008 label and its contents.  It adds several additional statistics, as well -- offering metrics on CO2 emissions (in g/mile from the tailpipe), "other emissions" (on a 1 to 10 scale, 10 being the best possible), how many gallons are used every 100 miles, how the vehicle compares fuel economy-wise with other vehicles in its class, and how the vehicle compares to all other vehicles (including those outside its class) in fuel economy.

The second design is a more radical redesign offering a letter grade to the vehicle in terms of fuel economy.  According to the EPA/DOT proposal page shows a battery electric vehicles getting an "A+", a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle receiving an "A", a compressed natural gas vehicle getting an "A-", and a "flexible fuel" (ethanol-ready) vehicle receiving a "B".  The page insists, though:

Please note that these labels are examples and do not represent real automobiles. 

Thus, it is unclear whether these labels are indicative to what kind of letter grades the actual vehicles in these classes would succeed.  Interestingly, there's no room for failure under the new system.  The worst rating one can get is a "D".

The design bumps the average yearly cost of fuel to a text subnote and instead emphasizes the amount the vehicle "saves" per year, "compared to the average vehicle".  It also bumps the note on how the vehicle stacks up within its class to a text subnote.

Both labels feature special QR Codes that allow smartphones to pull up additional info on fuel efficiency and the model.  Both labels also include special "effective MPG" ratings, to encompass electric vehicle performance.  Electric vehicles have their costs tallied as an "Annual Electric Cost".

The first sticker also includes, for the first time, a short disclaimer on how the fuel costs are calculated (a gas price of $2.80 USD is assumed in the sticker shown).  The letter-grade sticker doesn't include the disclaimer, though both stickers remind customers to go to www.fueleconomy.gov to learn more on the topic.

The EPA is seeking public comment on both designs, in order to decide which to adopt.  You can leave your thoughts, comments, criticism, and suggestions here.



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RE: Since We're Adopting School Methods
By cruisin3style on 8/31/2010 1:05:35 AM , Rating: 2
There is a difference between naivete and not knowing of a specific occurrence i.e. Obama administration pushing letter grades on fuel economy stickers, which I agree is ridiculous hence the asking for sources.

No one said I didn't know Obama is pushing green and all that, I just asked about the letters specifically. Just because I don't know the names of the specific guns used in the civil war doesn't mean I didn't know the war was fought.

But I appreciate your implication that I was naive and hadn't caught on to the trend, kind of a condescending tone you take on there...mirroring the government you are criticizing, it would seem.


RE: Since We're Adopting School Methods
By Nfarce on 8/31/2010 12:53:36 PM , Rating: 2
Just as a memory refresher, your original comment:

quote:
Please cite the source for this being the administration's agenda, and not just some trying-to-be-helpful EPA employee's brainchild. Or is this just your opinion?


It took me all of twelve seconds to research (and back up) the other poster's comments. Maybe you were just too afraid he was right and you didn't want the truth revealed - vs. his opinion as you attempted to protrude.

And your correlation (attempted one anyway) at Civil War guns and a battle being fought = " F ".


By cruisin3style on 8/31/2010 2:31:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And your correlation (attempted one anyway) at Civil War guns and a battle being fought = " F ".


That's funny because just as a battle is fought with guns even if i don't know which specific ones, an environmental agenda is pushed with laws and initiatives even if i don't know which specific ones come from Obama admin. for that agenda, and which are just random proposed ideas from some employee at the EPA (just as I am sure there were guns that existed in the 1860s that weren't used in the civil war).

As for being afraid, I think you are right. That is why I asked for sources...


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