Soon not just your kid, but your car could get a report card

New government labels are coming for cars and they could clearly send some vehicles straight to the head of the class, while others wind up just a grade away from detention.

These new labels, developed by the U.S. Departments of Transportation and Environmental Protection, are designed to make it clearer for consumers where a car stands on the spectrums of fuel economy, carbon emissions and energy use. The idea is to help people compare vehicles across types, which can be tricky under the current system, which displays a car’s EPA-figured gas mileage on the retail sticker sheet plastered to the side window.

One new label under consideration grades the vehicle for energy use and emissions.

One new label under consideration grades the vehicle for energy use and emissions.

Obama signals support for stricter auto emission standards and fuel economy

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

President Obama signaled his support for stricter auto emissions controls on Monday by directing federal agencies to review plans by California and other states that want to leapfrog federal standards with more stringent ones of their own.

The president also ordered the Transportation Department to quickly issue tighter gas mileage standards, so that automakers can plan for improved, more energy efficient vehicles for the 2011 model year.

On the emissions issue, the Bush Administration had maintained that states could not set independent standards, because regulating greenhouse gas emissions should be handled by national laws. (A bit of a paradox, since the Bush Administration did not support federal greenhouse gas laws either.)