Web Site Explains New Fuel Economy Labels, Offers Tips

Although new fuel labels now appearing on 2008 models better reflect the way we drive today, even with these changes, vehicle fuel economy will still vary depending on a number of individual circumstances. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers reminds drivers that the http://www.MileageWillVary.com Web site further explains the labeling changes and offers drivers tips on how to improve their fuel economy.

This year, EPA enhanced the window label's design and content to help consumers better understand fuel economy levels. EPA also changed the way fuel figures are calculated so they will better reflect how vehicles are driven today.

"This is a transition year, when some cars will still have the old labels and some cars will have the new ones," said Dave McCurdy, president and CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. "So consumers should be sure they're comparing vehicles with the same label format when considering fuel economy.

"The labels and new calculations take into consideration many of the factors that have changed in the 20 years since EPA last updated the labels. For example, we now tend to drive at higher speeds, with faster accelerations and while using more air conditioning," McCurdy added. "But even with these label updates, consumers should still expect their mileage to vary due to several factors."

Weather (hot and cold can affect the engine), road conditions (hills, road surface and snow), posted speed limits, tire inflation and other vehicle maintenance conditions all influence vehicle mileage.

The Web site, http://www.MileageWillVary.com, contains an interactive quiz that tells drivers how to maximize fuel economy, facts about how mileage can vary depending on specific driving conditions and a useful question and answer section about fuel economy.

"Fuel economy is important to both automakers and consumers," McCurdy said. "We're pleased to be able to give customers the most reliable information we can to help them achieve the best mileage possible."

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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