New stickers required under 2007 energy law
hicle technologies and account for greenhouse gas emissions affecting the environment.
The changes are required under a 2007 energy law.
Under the letter-grade proposal, an average vehicle on fuel efficiency and emissions would receive a B-. Electric vehicles would receive an A+, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles would earn an A and three gaselectric hybrids — the Ford Fusion Hybrid, Honda Civic Hy- brid and Toyota Prius — would getanA-.
The best-selling passenger car in America, the Toyota Camry, would receive a B or a B-, depending on the vehicle’s engine. The top-selling pickup truck, the Ford F-150, would receive a C+ or a C, based on the enginevariant.
Luxury models such as the Ferrari599GTBFioranaandthe Mercedes-Benz Maybach 57 wouldgetaD+.
Gloria Bergquist, a spokes- woman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, said, “The letter grade inadvertently suggests a value judgment, taking us back to school days where grades were powerful symbolsofpassingorfailing.”
She said a broad range of vehicle technologies were needed to improve fuel efficiency.
Gina McCarthy, the EPA’s top air pollution official, said the letter-grade option was not meant to be a judgment on the vehicle but a “metric that con- sumerscanuse”whencarshopping. The letter grade would include an estimate of how much moneyamotoristwouldsavein fuel costs over five years.
The second option would maintain the current label’s focus on a vehicle’s miles per gallon rating and annual fuel costs but update the design and add new comparison information on fuel efficiency and vehicle tailpipe emissions.
A final plan is expected in early 2011.
Environmental groups said they generally supported the plan, noting it would help shoppers make meaningful comparisons between vehicles and choose vehicles that will help them save money at the gas pump.
“You shouldn’t need a Ph.D. to buy a car. These proposed new labels will make it much easier for consumers to comparison shop,” said Vickie Patton, Environmental Defense Fund’sgeneralcounsel.
Environmentalists said the information on the stickers should reflect pollution from power plants that recharge electric vehicles. The proposal would only factor in greenhouse gas emissions from vehicle tailpipes.
“Consumers shopping for a clean car need to be able to compare a Prius with an electric vehicle. Not knowing how much coal-burning power plantsemittorechargetheelectric vehicle obscures the choice,” said Dan Becker, director of the Safe Climate Campaign for the Center for Auto Safety.