This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.
DOE and EPA Release the 2008 Fuel Economy Guide
DOE and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have released the 2008 Fuel Economy Guide, which provides listings of the 2008 model year vehicles that are fuel economy leaders, both overall and by vehicle class. Hybrid vehicles lead the way for overall fuel economy with the Toyota Prius and Honda Civic Hybrid topping the list, followed by a newcomer: the Nissan Altima Hybrid, which achieves a fuel economy of 35 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. With more hybrid models crowding the top of the list, the only non-hybrids to make the top ten fuel economy leaders are the Toyota Yaris, the Toyota Corolla, and the Honda Fit. See the EPA press release and the Fuel Economy Web site.
Fuel economy estimates, which appear on the window stickers of all new cars and light trucks prior to sale, are determined by tests that manufacturers and EPA conduct according to EPA specifications. This year's label values are based on new test methods EPA finalized in December 2006. The new methods are designed to better account for actual driving conditions that can lower fuel economy, such as higher speed driving, driving in cold weather, and using air conditioning. Because of the new methods, fuel economy estimates for all vehicles will generally be lower than those of last year. The 2008 Fuel Economy Guide also includes a long list of flex-fuel vehicles that can burn either gasoline or E85, a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. The guide estimates the fuel economy using either gasoline or E85, because burning E85 will result in a slightly lower fuel economy. See the list on the Fuel Economy Web site.