The federal government has released new fuel rating stickers, that will appear on new cars with the model year 2013. I like the new stickers for a couple of reasons.
First, the electric sticker has two figures for energy efficiency:
MPGe – which uses the conventional MPG rating we are familiar with by converting electricity into gasoline.
kW-hrs per 100 miles – which is a direct and relevant energy rating for electric or hybrid cars.
In my earlier post, I suggested a slightly different figure MPKWH, miles per kilowatt hour, than the government figure. Either way, the consumer will appreciate the information. The new government figure is the inverse of my proposal and unlike MPG, the better number is the smallest number. The federal government rating is kW-hrs per 100 miles; the smaller amount of energy the car needs to go 100 miles the better.
The stickers also have some other useful information for electric cars: driving range and charge time with a 240V plug.
Another improvement for environmentalists is the differentiation between greenhouse gas rating and smog rating. The greenhouse gas rating is very proportional to MPG, but the smog rating relates more to a system in the car for cleaning out particulate matter. A few years ago I did some research on a Yaris, which is a tiny Toyota. The amount of CO2 emissions was quite low because of fuel efficiency but the smog level was higher than most of the hybrids on the market.
The real success of this effort is educating the consumers on these numbers, and hopefully they will make better environmental choices.
To see all of the different labels, the government’s PDF is here.