Cars to Get Excruciatingly Clear New Fuel Efficiency Labels

The Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are updating the fuel efficiency labels that go on new cars. There are two proposed designs.

The first design has these skyscraper proportions and rates cars with a clear, color-coded letter grade. Here's what the label for an all-electric vehicle, which gets an A+, would look like:

Here's another example of the first design. This label is for a standard gas car that gets a B.

There's also a second design, with more landscapish proportions, which could accommodate a bit more information (at the expense, perhaps, of foolproof clarity). It would work especially well for explaining the economic ins and outs of dual fuel vehicles like the Chevy Volt.

Either of these two designs would do a great job of making the issue of fuel efficiency more salient for car shoppers, and putting it in dollar terms. This is just a smart way to help consumers make more informed decisions.

Maybe the EPA should also slap a sticker with gobal oil supply forecasts on new cars while they're at it.

You can see all the proposed labels, with explanations, and comment on the designs over at the EPA.