The Obama administration has proposed adding new labels to showroom vehicles that give letter grades based on their fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions. The new labels, which U.S. officials hope to introduce for 2012 models, would provide consumers with more complete information on efficiency and environmental performance, including associated air pollutants. “From electric to plug-in hybrid vehicles, we think a new label is absolutely necessary to help consumers make the right decision for their wallet and for the environment,” said Gina McCarthy, an EPA assistant administrator.
Under the proposal, the average vehicle would receive a grade of B- for fuel efficiency and emissions, federal officials say. Electric vehicles would get an A+, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles would receive an A, and gas-electric hybrids, such as the Ford Fusion and Toyota Prius, would receive an A-. Meanwhile, many luxury vehicles, such as the Mercedes-Benz Maybach 57 would get a D+ or D, the lowest grade. The agencies are asking for public comment on two label designs, which can be viewed online. The second design omits a letter grade but has information on greenhouse gas emissions and a graph showing how the vehicle compares with others.