SANTA MONICA, CA - Edmunds.com recently submitted a recommendation to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy to make new car window stickers more useful to car shoppers by highlighting usage costs rather than miles per gallon (mpg) numbers.
Window stickers currently display mpg ratings, useful for comparing vehicle choices. However, for an increasing number of vehicles, gallons of gasoline are not being consumed. Under current proposals, all-electric vehicles and other alternative-fuel vehicles are expected to be given "mpg-equivalent" ratings generated by complex algorithms that attempt to translate other forms of energy into a comparable measurement.
The EPA already provides "annual usage costs" data on window stickers, and makes the required assumptions necessary to do so. Edmunds.com suggests window stickers simply highlight these amounts instead of the mpg numbers. And when using EPA figures in marketing, automakers should be required to use EPA-provided monthly cost estimates.
While this proposal is being considered, Edmunds.com is providing a list of monthly fuel costs for all 2009 and 2010 model year vehicles so shoppers can make realistic comparisons. To produce this list, Edmunds.com's statisticians used data and assumptions that mirror those used in Edmunds.com's True Cost to Own tool.