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Published: Thursday, 5/26/2011

Decals to ID fuel economy, smog

LOS ANGELES TIMES

WASHINGTON -- Federal regulators have unveiled new fuel economy labels for passenger vehicles in the program's most extensive overhaul in 30 years.

Beginning with cars and trucks from model year 2013, fuel costs and comparisons of environmental impact to other vehicles will be displayed on the decals, which were developed by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency.

The labels must be affixed to all new vehicles, including those that run on gasoline, diesel, electricity, or a mix. Authorities ditched a proposal to use letter grades after intense opposition from automakers.

"Reducing our consumption and demand for oil is the best way to reduce upward pressure on fuel prices," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson in a conference call with reporters. "The old cars have become outdated. A new generation of cars requires a new generation of fuel-economy labels."

The new decals will display estimated annual fuel cost and standard miles-per-gallon figures for city and highway driving.

Drivers also will be able to see how vehicles stack up against others in smog, tailpipe emissions, and fuel economy on a one-to-10 scale. The miles-per-gallon range for same-class vehicles is included, as is the highest fuel economy among all vehicles, including electrics.

Plug-in hybrids and electric vehicle decals will show driving range and charging times, as well as a figure for miles-per-gallon equivalent.



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