Whether you are looking to reduce your carbon footprint, save money or contribute less to that nasty smog, knowing the environmental performance of your vehicle and the vehicles you are shopping for will help you meet your goals.
Beginning in model year 2009 all new cars were required to display the California Environmental Performance (EP) Label. In 2012 California harmonized its consumer vehicle labeling program with the Federal program so that starting in 2013, all new cars are required to display the new Fuel Economy and Environment Label (Label).
Federal Fuel Economy and Environment Label
The new Fuel Economy and Environment Label is an easy tool for finding the cleanest most efficient cars available. The Label is required on all vehicles beginning in model year 2013 and provides a Smog Rating and a Fuel Economy and Greenhouse Gas Rating on a scale of 1 (worst) to 10 (best). This new Label provides the following features:
- New ways to compare energy use and cost between new-technology cars that use electricity and conventional cars that are gasoline-powered.
- Useful estimates on how much consumers will save or spend on fuel over the next five years compared to the average new vehicle.
- Easy-to-read ratings of how a model compares to all others for smog emissions and emissions of pollution that contribute to climate change.
- An estimate of how much fuel or electricity it takes to drive 100 miles.
- Information on the driving range and charging time of a plug-in vehicle.
- A QR Code that will allow users of smartphones to access online information about how various models compare on fuel economy and other environmental and energy factors.
Greenhouse Gas Rating
A higher Fuel Economy and Greenhouse Gas Rating will indicate a vehicle that has greater efficiency and emits fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
Buying a car with a high Smog Rating will help you make a difference now. There have been many advancements in clean vehicle technologies, making even gasoline cars significantly cleaner than they have ever been. But, new vehicles can vary tremendously in how much they pollute - even within the same make and model. So, learn about the Smog Rating and remember to think clean and buy cars with higher ratings.