The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) have released the 2011 Fuel Economy Guide (PDF), which provides data about estimated mileage and fuel costs for model year 2011 vehicles to help buyers select the right vehicle. It also provides a list of federal tax credits.
The guide can help buyers identify the most fuel efficient vehicles that meet their needs. The guide finds that the best fuel economy performers are hybrids, but the 2011 fuel economy leader list also includes fuel efficient clean diesels as well as gasoline models.
Each vehicle listing in the guide provides an estimated annual fuel cost. The estimate is calculated based on the vehicle’s miles per gallon (mpg) rating and national estimates for annual mileage and fuel prices, says EPA. The online version of the guide also allows consumers to input their local gasoline prices and typical driving habits to receive a personalized fuel cost estimate.
For the first time, the guide includes medium-duty passenger vehicles, which are generally large sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and passenger vans, which were not previously subject to fuel economy measurement and labeling requirements.
The EPA and DOE will provide additional fuel economy information online as more 2011 vehicles, including electric and plug-in hybrid cars, become available.
The Fuel Economy Guide is also accessible from many mobile devices at www.fueleconomy.gov/m.
In April, the EPA and the Department of Transportation (DOT) set greenhouse gas (GHG) standards for passenger cars and light-duty trucks for the first time. If all the reductions came from fuel economy improvements, the EPA standard would be equivalent to 35.5 milers per gallon.
This was followed in August with the release of two proposed window stickers designed to make it easier for consumers to compare vehicles. The new system is designed to simplify comparisons in fuel economy and emissions for those shopping for fuel-efficient vehicles.
In October, the EPA and DOT also released the first national standards to reduce GHG emissions and improve fuel efficiency of heavy-duty trucks and buses. The new proposed standards are for three categories of heavy trucks: combination tractors, heavy-duty pickups and vans, and vocational vehicles.