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ROAD & TRAVEL Environmentally Friendly: 2008 Fuel Estimates

2008 Fuel Estimates Recalculated Due to
New EPA Miles-Per-Gallon Standards

As 2008 vehicle models roll onto dealership lots this year, new and improved fuel estimate standards will have taken effect, reflected by the miles per gallon (MPG) numbers that consumers will find for city and highway driving on new vehicle stickers. To provide American consumers with improved information when shopping for cars and trucks, EPA has issued new methods to determine the outdated MPG estimates.

"The test methods for calculating estimates were last revised long ago in 1984"

"EPA's new fuel economy sticker ensures American motorists won't be stuck with higher than anticipated charges at the pump," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "Consumers can get more bang for their buck by considering fuel use while shopping for cars and trucks – saving money on refueling costs while helping protect our environment."

EPA's new methods bring MPG estimates closer to consumers' actual fuel use by including factors such as high speeds, aggressive accelerations, air conditioning use and driving in cold temperatures. Model year 2008 vehicles will be the first to receive the new MPG estimates. Currently, EPA relies on data from two laboratory tests to determine the city and highway fuel economy estimates. The test methods for calculating these estimates were last revised long ago in 1984, before features like air conditioning came standard on vehicles.

To more clearly convey fuel economy information to consumers, EPA is also enhancing the design and content of the window sticker. The new label will allow consumers to make more informed decisions when comparing the fuel economy of new vehicles, including information such as the estimated annual cost of fuel for each vehicle and where the particular vehicle falls on a bar scale of fuel efficiency for that vehicle segment. EPA will continue to work with the auto industry, dealers, and other stakeholders, such as the American Automobile Association (AAA), to further educate drivers about all the changes included in the final rule.

In addition to better fuel economy estimates, for the first time, EPA will be requiring fuel economy labeling of medium-duty vehicles, which are between 8,500 and 10,000 lbs., including large sport-utility vehicles and vans. Manufacturers will be required to post fuel economy labels on these vehicles beginning with the 2011 model year.

(Source: EPA)