Country:United States
Policy status:In Force
Date Effective:2006
Policy Type:Regulatory Instruments>Codes and standards, Information and Education>Performance Label>Comparison label, Regulatory Instruments>Monitoring
Policy Target:Transport>Vehicle type>Passenger vehicles, Transport>Vehicle type>Light-duty vehicles
Agency:Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Legal References:Section 774 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005

In a final rule published on 27 December 2006, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revised the methods used to determine the City and Highway estimates that appear on the window stickers of new cars and trucks, in the Fuel Economy Guide and in the Green Vehicle Guide. The city and highway miles per gallon (MPG) estimates help consumers compare the fuel economy of different vehicles. EPA’s rule aims to bring the MPG estimates closer to the fuel economy consumers actually achieve on the road. The new MPG estimates took effect with model year 2008 vehicles. EPA incorporates these tests into the methods used to determine the fuel economy estimates posted on the window stickers of new cars and light trucks. For the first time, the EPA fuel economy estimates reflect vehicle-specific data from tests designed to replicate three real-world conditions that can significantly affect fuel economy: high speed/rapid acceleration driving, use of air conditioning, and cold temperature operation. Previously, these conditions were accounted for by across-the-board adjustments, rather than by vehicle-specific testing. EPA also ruled that the fuel economy estimates reflect other conditions that affect fuel economy, such as road grade, wind, tire pressure, load, and the effects of different fuel properties. The fuel economy for each vehicle model continues to be presented to consumers as city and highway MPG estimates. Auto manufacturers are be required to perform the fuel economy testing specified in EPAs proposal. Starting with the 2008 model year, the new methods are used to determine the estimates. Previously, the EPA relied on data from two lab tests for the city and highway estimates. Tests were performed under in mild conditions, when the temperature is 75 degrees, using top highway speeds of 60 mph and average speeds of 48 mph. Those conditions, the EPA acknowledged, were "generally lower than those experienced by drivers in the real world." Under the testing changes, the first in nearly two decades, fuel economy stickers showed most 2008 models getting 10 percent to 20 percent less mileage in city driving and 5 percent to 15 percent less in highway use. Gasoline-electric hybrids were affected even more, with ratings for city driving decreasing an average of 20 percent to 30 percent. In 2013, the agency also redesigned the stickers so they are more consumer-friendly and reflect environmental impact in addtion to fuel efficiency and costs or savings.

Last modified: Fri, 27 Jan 2017 17:31:12 CET