The above video offers up a brief look and quick explanation of the EPA's new fuel economy labels. Carmakers will be required to include the label on all 2013 models and beyond. For the first time, the label will list the amount of carbon emissions the vehicle stirs up, though it appears to be folded into the smog rating on some vehicles. The New York Times has more on the philosophy behind the labels:
The federal government unveiled new fuel economy window stickers on Wednesday, for vehicles starting with the 2013 model year, that for the first time include estimated annual fuel costs and the vehicle's overall environmental impact.As before, it's pretty comprehensive, and makes for a lot of data crammed into a small label. You almost have to wonder if they're overdoing it with these info-rich labels -- consumers are apt to take a look at this thing and feel a bit overwhelmed. Especially considering that hybrids, EVs, trucks, and conventional cars all get differently formatted labels now. Which is interesting, when you consider that the agency almost opted for a simple letter grade system, which would have graded the car on its economy and environmental impact with a single mark, Consumer Reports-style. That approach was tossed out after car companies complained it was too simplistic.
The new labels, which replace a five-year-old design that provided only basic information about estimated fuel economy, represent the broadest overhaul in the sticker program's 35-year history. There will be different labels for conventional vehicles, plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles, with cars running solely on battery power estimated to get 99 miles per gallon.
Curious to hear what you think -- will the additional information lead to smarter, more environmentally conscious consumer choices? Or is this too much data, and likely to cause folks' eyes to glaze over -- and should we push for a simpler grading system?