California Rolls Out "Global Warming Score" Labels to Show Vehicles' Emissions

CARB environmental label

Expect to see a lot more grumbling from the beleaguered Big Three automakers: The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has just unveiled the design of the state's new 'environmental' label revealing a vehicle's global warming score, or GHG emissions, and smog score. The labels could begin appearing on vehicles as early as next month and will feature prominently on all 2009 models (all new vehicles will need to feature it by January 1, 2009).

Making the grade
The two scores will be graded on a scale of 1-10, with more fuel-efficient and clean burning vehicles scoring higher scores. Automakers will be required to furnish the data to the U.S. EPA, and CARB will host a website to highlight the most climate-friendly cars.

california freeway

Image from Vibragiel
Putting the label into practice
The rating scale means the 'average' vehicle will typically score a 5. More fuel-efficient vehicles, like Honda's Civic Hybrid or Toyota's Prius, will receive 9-10 points while large, inefficient vehicles like Dodge's Caravan will get 3 points, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. The smog index label has been in use in California since 1998.

With roughly 2 million new vehicles being purchased every year in California, this new measure will provide a welcome degree of transparency that, when combined with soaring gas prices, will help shift the tide further in favor of fuel-efficient vehicles.

Via ::Associated Press: New Calif. cars to sport greenhouse gas labels (news website)

More about Vehicle Standards in California
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