CHICAGO - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) held public hearings in Chicago Oct. 14 about their plans to redesign the fuel economy labels for passenger cars and trucks. This will be the first time in 30 years that the label design will be overhauled.

The new labels are designed to provide Americans who are shopping for new vehicles with key information on fuel efficiency and air pollution.

EPA and DOT are holding public hearings to get input on the labels before picking a final design. The next public hearing will be in Los Angeles on Oct. 21. View the two proposed new labels on the Web and offer your comments. The agencies are gathering public input about the two choices, through the public hearings and Web site comments, before picking the final version.

The proposed new labels will have expanded information, including ratings on fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions. One of the proposals features a letter grade based on fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions performance, and an estimate of cost savings at the gas pump over five years compared with the average gasoline-powered vehicle.

The goal is to make it easier to compare all types of vehicles, including new technologies such as electric vehicles, and to help buyers make more informed choices when they're shopping for new passenger cars or trucks.

Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) expert Peter Zalzal was among those testifying in Chicago in support of the move to empower consumers.

"EDF strongly supports the effort to convey vital information to car buyers in ways that will be more useful and easier to understand" said Zalzal. "The additional information on the proposed new labels - and especially the clear and familiar presentation of the letter-grade label -- will help consumers buy new cars and trucks that more fully reflect their preferences. The labels will help us protect our economy, our security and our environment."

More information about the public hearings is available on EPA's Web site.


Originally posted on Automotive Fleet