Agencies Release Fuel Economy Lists for 2008 Models

On Oct. 12, EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released the 2008 Fuel Economy Guide, and hybrid vehicles continue to lead the government's fuel economy ratings.

Fuel economy estimates, which appear on the window stickers of all new cars and light trucks prior to sale, are determined by tests that manufacturers and EPA conduct according to EPA specifications. This year's label values are based on new test methods EPA finalized in December 2006. The new methods are designed to better account for actual driving conditions that can lower fuel economy, such as higher speed driving, use of air conditioning and cold weather operation. Because of the new methods, fuel economy estimates for all vehicles will generally be lower than those of last year.

Data show that hybrid technology can be effectively used to improve fuel economy, officials said. The Toyota Prius tops the list at 48 miles per gallon (mpg) city and 45 mpg highway. The Honda Civic Hybrid came in second with 40 mpg city 45 mpg highway. Third is Nissan Altima Hybrid with 35 mpg city and 33 mpg highway. More hybrid models are available than ever, including SUVs as well as cars.

"Today's consumers expect the biggest bang for their buck. By fueling them with information on this year's fleet of vehicles, we are putting Americans in the driver's seat to save money at the pump and protect our environment," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "As we see in the wide range of fuel efficient leaders, 'going green' can fit the needs of any lifestyle."

To view the 2008 Fuel economy guide and for tips on increasing vehicle efficiency, visit http://www.fueleconomy.gov.

Also search the Web site's archives for additional articles related to fuel economy, including: "DOE Laboratory Releases Fuel-saving Estimates for U.S. Hybrid Electric Vehicles."

This article originally appeared in the 10/01/2007 issue of Environmental Protection.

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