Existing Tests and Methods
       Fuel economy estimates have been provided to consumers since the 1970s as a tool
       to help shoppers compare the fuel economy of different vehicles. Currently, EPA relies
       on data from two laboratory tests to determine the city and highway fuel economy
       estimates. The test methods for calculating these estimates were last revised in 1984,
       when the fuel  economy derived from the two tests were adjusted downward - 10
       percent for city and 22 percent for highway - to more accurately reflect driving styles
       and conditions.

       The city and highway tests are currently performed under mild climate conditions (75
       degrees F)  and include acceleration rates and driving speeds that EPA believes are
       generally lower than those  used by drivers in the real world. Neither test is run while
       using accessories, such as  air conditioning. The highway test has a top speed of 60
       miles per hour, and an average speed of only 48 miles per hour.

       Since the mid-1990s, EPAs emissions certification program has  required the use
       of three additional tests which capture a much broader range of  real-world driving
       conditions,  including high-speed, fast-acceleration driving, the use of air conditioning,
       and colder temperature operation (20 degrees F). These conditions affect not only the
       amount of air pollutants a vehicle  emits, but also a vehicle's fuel economy. However,
       these tests were not required to measure fuel economy.
       The New Methods to Determine Fuel Economy Estimates
       For the first time, the EPA fuel economy estimates will use vehicle-specific data from
       tests designed to replicate three real-world conditions, which can significantly affect
       fuel economy: high speed/rapid acceleration driving, use of air conditioning, and cold
       temperature operation. Previously, these conditions were accounted for by across-the-
       board adjustments, rather than by vehicle-specific testing.

       EPAs new fuel economy estimates will also reflect other conditions that influence fuel
       economy, like road grade, wind, tire pressure, load, and the effects of different fuel
       properties. The fuel economy for each vehicle model will continue to be presented to
       consumers on the label as city and highway MPG estimates.

       In 2011, manufacturers will need to perform additional cold temperature, air
       conditioning, and/or high speed/rapid acceleration driving  tests for those vehicles most
       sensitive to these conditions. However, in order to provide consumers with better
       fuel economy estimates  sooner, EPA will use  new calculation methods that capture
       these driving conditions. These estimates will begin with  model year 2008 vehicles.
       The interim period from model year 2008 to model year 2011 will give manufacturers
       enough time to plan for this additional testing, while providing consumers with
       estimates that capture more realistic driving conditions.
EPA Issues New Test Methods for Fuel
Economy Window Stickers

       How the New Test Methods Will Affect Fuel Economy
       Under EPA's new methods, the new fuel economy estimates for most vehicles will be
       lower. This is not because auto makers have designed the same vehicles to be less fuel
       efficient - it is because our new test methods take into account factors that have been
       missing or not fully accounted for in the current tests. Because some vehicles are more
       sensitive to these factors than others, the impact of the changes will vary from vehicle
       to vehicle.

       Compared to today's estimates, the city mpg estimates for the manufacturers of most
       vehicles will drop by about 12 percent on average, and by as much as 30 percent for
       some vehicles. The highway mpg estimates will drop on average by about 8 percent,
       and by as much as 25  percent for some vehicles.

       In vehicles that achieve generally better fuel economy, such as gasoline-electric hybrid
       vehicles, new city estimates will be about 20 to 30 percent lower than today's labels,
       and new highway estimates will  be 10 to 20 percent lower. The nature of current
       hybrid technology -  the addition  of a battery as a second source of on-board power,
       sophisticated control systems, and sometimes a smaller engine - makes a hybrid's fuel
       economy more sensitive to certain factors,  such as colder weather and air conditioning
       use. However, many hybrid models will  remain among the most fuel-efficient vehicles
       on the market.

       Since driving behaviors and conditions vary, there is no test that can perfectly  predict
       the fuel economy that every driver will get.  With any estimate, there will always  be
       times when a driver's actual fuel economy will be higher or lower. However, EPA's new
       test methods will do a better job of bringing the estimates on  the window sticker closer
       to people's real-world fuel economy experience.
       Laboratory Tests Reflect Real-World Conditions
       It is essential that EPA's fuel economy estimates continue to be derived from controlled,
       repeatable laboratory tests to enable a standardized or "level playing field," comparison
       between all vehicle models. However, the underlying calculations to determine the
       estimates are based on data from real-world driving behavior and conditions. Laboratory
       testing also preserves EPA's ability to confirm the results of manufacturers' testing.

       Auto makers will continue to be responsible for performing the fuel economy
       testing and calculating the label mpg estimates. EPA will continue to confirm the
       manufacturers' test results by performing audit testing at its National Vehicle and Fuel
       Emissions Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
EPA Issues New Test Methods for Fuel
Economy Window Stickers

       Larger SUVs and vans required to have fuel economy
       Because the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has recently ruled to integrate
       medium-duty passenger vehicles (MDPVs), including large SUVs and vans, into the
       Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) program starting in 2011, EPA must now
       include these vehicles in the fuel economy labeling program. Thus, EPA will be requiring
       fuel economy labeling of certain passenger vehicles up to 10,000 Ib  gross vehicle
       weight rating (GVWR). These vehicles used to be exempt because they weighed more
       than the previous cut-off of 8,500 Ib. Vehicle  manufacturers will be required to post fuel
       economy labels on MDPVs beginning with the 2011 model year.
       Fuel Economy Label Design
       To more clearly convey fuel economy information to consumers, EPA has revised
       the design and content of the fuel economy window sticker that appears on new
                EPA  Fuel Economy Estimates
           CITY MPG
           Expected range
           for most drivers
            15 to 21 MPG
These estimates reflect new EPA methods beginning with 2008 models.

                                    HIGHWAY MPG
             Annual Fuel Cost
              based on 15,000 miles
               at $2.80 per gallon
            Combined Fuel Economy
                 This Vehicle


                  All SUVs
Expected range
for most drivers
 21 to 29 MPG
                                                               Your actual
                                                             mileage will vary
                                                            depending on how you
                                                             drive and maintain
                                                               your vehicle.
                  See the FREE Fuel Economy Guide at dealers or www.fueleconomy.gov
       The new label features more prominent fuel cost information, a user-friendly graphic
       for comparing the fuel economy of different vehicles, clearer text, and a Web site
       address for more information. Since the new label design will be required on vehicles
EPA Issues New Test Methods for Fuel
Economy Window Stickers

       manufactured on September 1, 2007, or later, manufacturers will be phasing in the new
       design during the 2008 model year. For model years 2008 and 2009, the label will also
       state that estimates reflect new EPA test methods beginning with 2008 models. More
       information on the revised window sticker is available on EPA's Web site at:

       No Impact on CAFE
       EPA's rule has no impact on the CAFE program, which is administered by DOT's
       National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA). CAFE is the required
       average fuel economy for a vehicle manufacturer's entire fleet of passenger cars and
       light trucks manufactured for sale in the United States for each model year. There are
       separate regulations concerning the test methods and procedures to determine the fuel
       economy values under the CAFE program. For more information on CAFE,  please visit

       For More Information
       You can access documents on this rulemaking on EPA's Office of Transportation and Air
       Quality Web site at:


       For further information, please contact the Assessment and Standards Division at:

             U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
             Office of Transportation and Air Quality
             2000Traverwood Drive
             Ann Arbor, Ml 48105
             Voicemail: (734) 214-4636
             E-mail: asdinfo@epa.aov
EPA Issues New Test Methods for Fuel
Economy Window Stickers