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WASHINGTON—The Obama administration on Monday proposed labeling each passenger car with a government letter grade from A to D based on its fuel efficiency and emissions, part of a broader effort by the government to promote electric cars and other advanced-technology vehicles.

The new rules, released jointly by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Transportation Department, would be the most substantial changes in 30 years to the familiar price and mileage labels affixed to new cars on sale at dealerships.

Currently the labels must show how many miles per gallon a car gets and its estimated annual fuel costs. Under the rules proposed Monday, new labels would carry a letter grade assigned by regulators.
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New Rules Proposed for Cars' Fuel Economy - WSJ.com
 

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Hah, just like here in Europe.

FYI, the 1.25 gasoline European Fiesta gets a B, the 1.4 5-sp manual gets a B, the 1.4 4-sp (!) automatic a D, the 1.4 LPG (gasoline engine converted to autogas) an A, the 1.6 a C, the 1.6 TDCI turbo diesel Econetic an A and the regular 1.6 TDCI a B rating.

Unfortunately not comparible with these new N.A. ratings as the European scale goes from A to G!

 

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I think it's absolutely absurd that we should have to rate the "greenness" of a vehicle because it is crap anyways. I guarantee the hybrids would not include the battery production in the numbers.

Not to mention that the sticker does not include battery replacement, only furl savings.

MPG is MPG... Is there really any other reason you buy an efficient car? People do not do their due diligence and that sticker is borderline propaganda IMO.
 

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Yay, more gubmint. :rolleyes:

And I agree with andrew. Also with the electrics, I have a feeling they'll leave out the coal pollution from the power plants charging those things. Especially if they become popular and people charge them during peak hours.
 

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Seems like a way to keep marketers busy for a bit. "Greenness" rating is deceptive. MPG can be too. Batteries are toxic to produce and replace (averaging 8year life) so there does need to be a change to rate the value gradient for electric/hybrid cars. This doesn't seem like quite the right solution, but a change is needed.
 

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Especially if they become popular and people charge them during peak hours.
Ah, summertime. Rolling blackouts. Hmmmm.... should I charge the car, in case I need it, or keep the house air conditioner running?
 

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Ah, summertime. Rolling blackouts. Hmmmm.... should I charge the car, in case I need it, or keep the house air conditioner running?
"Well honey, looks like you get to sweat your butt off today, I have to run to the store later. Enjoy sticking to the leather furniture!" :D
 

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Do all the electric ones get their charge from the onboard engine?

Because if not then I suppose they purposely neglect to mention the energy costs associated with recharging the batteries .........
 

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I think it's absolutely absurd that we should have to rate the "greenness" of a vehicle because it is crap anyways. I guarantee the hybrids would not include the battery production in the numbers.

Not to mention that the sticker does not include battery replacement, only furl savings.

MPG is MPG... Is there really any other reason you buy an efficient car? People do not do their due diligence and that sticker is borderline propaganda IMO.
Waste of money. Damn government morons.
 

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Do all the electric ones get their charge from the onboard engine?

Because if not then I suppose they purposely neglect to mention the energy costs associated with recharging the batteries .........
Nissan Leaf is plug in charge.

Chevrolet Volt is either or both plug in charge or gasoline generator.

When you have two different energy sources, the calculation and comparison (in either money or "greenness") more complicated, depending on the cost of the different energy sources. Some of the new fuel economy label proposals are supposed to give a simple to understand comparison taking into account the different energy sources, but that may be oversimplifying things (though given how well the average consumer understands things, a more accurate calculation may be too hard to understand for them).
 

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They definitely take into account the cost of charging the batteries, just look at the fine print where it says that costs are based on $2.80/gal and $0.15/kWh. It's always cheaper (given current energy prices in the US) to charge the batteries from your wall outlet than with gasoline because of how much more efficient an electric motor is than a gasoline engine. They don't and can't take into account GHG emissions from generating electricity as that varies drastically based on where you are in the country from minimal with hydro/wind/solar/nuclear to coal on the other side of the spectrum. It also fails to account for energy and waste associated with building and disposing of the car, although lithium batteries and much of the associated extra hardware associated with the electric motors in a car are highly recyclable so the "toxicity" of the materials isn't too big a concern since they aren't going to be simply tossed in a hole in the ground in most cases. Most new cars do use virgin sources because China has been flooding the market with cheap raw materials for years so the environmental cost of producing the stuff in the first place is certainly a valid concern. I personally find it a bit disappointing that there's no mention of other emissions like sulfur and nitrous oxides and particulates since the CARB/Bin rating stickers have been relegated to under the hood.

The label is much more informative than what is currently on vehicles and the current label really doesn't address plug-in hybrids or electric-only vehicles so I see it as a big improvement. The big letter grade is definitely an oversimplification, but a lot of people don't care enough to spend the time to figure out things like fuel cost and GHG emissions in detail so something simple like a letter grade is useful for comparative purposes at least.
 

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For a modest sized population of electric vehicles, the electricity demands to charge them are generally not a problem, because most of the charging happens at night when electricity demand is much lower and the large power plants have excess capacity (depending, of course, what sort of power source is being used). At present, though, the number of true electrics out there is not even modest, it is utterly insignificant, and the numbers will remain tiny as long as they are using inherently expensive battery technologies like lithium ion (there are alternatives, but you don't hear about them much).

On the plus side the current subsidized, small-scale production of electric vehicles will help refine the rest of the drive train and get non-battery components produced at a more efficient scale, and people will generally get more used to them. But for now, they are not enough of them to have any measurable impact on power plant emissions or aggregate tailpipe emissions.
 
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