EPA unveils new fuel economy grading system

In an attempt to make consumers more receptive to the environmentally-friendly vehicles, the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed new stickers for alternative energy and electric vehicles that will break down the comparison between those cars and gas-powered vehicles.

With the rise of plug-in hybrids and gas/electric mixes, fuel economy can be confusing. The new stickers assign letter grades, ranging from A+ to D, for each vehicle in addition to miles per gallon and other environmental ratings, according to CNET. Electric and alternative fuel vehicles get further information that breaks down how long it takes to charge, what the miles per gallon equivalent is, and how much a user can expect to save on average over the purchase of a similar gas vehicle.

The new labels also have a scannable barcode for use with smartphone apps. A user can point his or her phone’s camera at the image in order to be taken to the EPA website, where more information can be gathered.

Fuel economy is important, but hybrids and alternative energy vehicles can be expensive. Before making the switch, drivers may want to wish for the cars to hit the used car market in order to take advantage of increased savings.