Report Card for Cars, What Grade Will Your Car Get? ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Report Card for Cars, What Grade Will Your Car Get?

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Report Card for Cars, What Grade Will Your Car Get?

New Fuel Economy Sticker for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles
The EPA and DOT are working together to create a new fuel economy sticker to be placed on new cars. They have proposed two different labels, which while different, are both designed to let the buyer know just what kind of car they are buying.

The first label gives a letter grade to the car, based on its fuel economy. Electric cars would get A+ ratings, while no van would get over a C+. Plug-in hybrid vehicles would fall in the A- range.

The second label focuses in on the miles per gallon and the estimated fuel costs. This allows for greater comparison between vehicles, especially given the big differences that are happening with new cars.

Both label have MPG and GPM (gallons per 100 miles) ratings along with greenhouse gas emissions. They will also give an estimate of annual fuel costs, plus more information comparing the fuel economy of this car to that of other like vehicles. Smart phone owners will be able to scan in the QRR code and get additional information.
Electric Vehicles Get an A+

The exciting part for those who are following the new types of cars (electric, plug-in hybrid, E-REV, etc...) is the new labeling system. Vehicles like the Volt are supposed to drive for 40 miles or so on all electric power, then go hybrid. After that initial electric range, you need gas to go, so the fuel efficiency figure is important to know.

That type of information will now be found on the sticker. The new sticker is designed to let you know the estimated fuel economy in each different mode (electric, hybrid, or gas-only).

The only problem I have with the new sticker is its emphasis on 'energy consumption measurement' where the energy consumption (in this case, electricity) is in MPGe, or Miles Per Gallon equivalent. That sort of measurement is confusing to people. The KiloWatt hours is shown on the electric vehicles, but not on the plug-in hybrid vehicles. That's less informative than it could be.

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