FUEL EFFICIENCY FAQ

1. HOW CAN I CALCULATE MY MILEAGE?

Mileage (MPG) = Miles Traveled / Gallons of Gasoline Used

 

Fill up your vehicle’s tank and reset the odometer to zero. Then, after your next fill up,
divide the number of miles on the odometer by the gallons of gasoline used.

2. HOW CAN I IMPROVE MY GAS MILEAGE?

You can help improve your gas mileage by following these steps:
• Inflate tires to the recommended pounds per square inch (PSI)
• Use air conditioning at higher speeds and roll your windows down at lower speeds
• Use cruise control
• Don’t drive with heavy rear cargo
• Use overdrive gears
• Maintain your vehicle’s maintenance

3. WILL USING HIGHER OCTANE GAS INCREASE MY GAS MILEAGE?

Not necessarily. Higher octane gas is meant for use by vehicles that require more volatile gas, or for engines that would knock or ping with lower octane gasoline.

4. WHY SHOULD I CARE ABOUT FUEL ECONOMY?

Fuel economy helps save money and reduces oil dependency.

5. WHY ARE SOME VEHICLES MORE FUEL EFFICIENT THAN OTHERS?

Larger vehicles, including trucks, vans and SUVs, are heavy machines that require larger engines. Larger engines require more fuel, thus larger vehicles have lower fuel efficiency. Smaller vehicles, including cars and sedans, are lighter and more aerodynamic machines. They operate on smaller engines that require less fuel, thus smaller vehicles generally have higher fuel efficiency.

6. WHERE DOES THE EPA GET DATA TO CALCULATE FUEL ECONOMY RATINGS?

The EPA uses vehicle test data from the EPA’s National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and by vehicle manufacturers who submit their own test data to the EPA. (For more information, visit www.epa.gov/otaq/cert/mpg/data.htm)

7. HOW HAVE EPA FUEL ECONOMY RATINGS IMPROVED?

In December 2006, EPA issued updated test methods to determine the fuel economy estimates that appear on the window stickers of all new cars and light trucks sold in the U.S., beginning with 2008 models. The new methods more accurately account for actual driving conditions that can lower fuel economy, such as high speed, aggressive driving, use of air conditioning, and cold temperature operation as well as road grade, wind, tire pressure, load, and the effects of different fuel properties. The new estimates give drivers a better estimate of the fuel economy they are likely to achieve on the road. (For more information, visit www.epa.gov/otaq/cert/mpg/data.htm).

8. WHAT DOES THE NEW EPA FUEL ECONOMY LABEL LOOK LIKE AND WHAT DOES IT TELL
ME?

The labels differ depending on the type of fuel the vehicle uses. For gasoline and diesel vehicles, the label provides the following information:

Fuel Economy: Miles per gallon (MPG) estimates. The combined City/Highway estimate is the most prominent to allow quick and easy comparison to other vehicles.

 

Comparable Fuel Economy: Information to compare the vehicle’s fuel economy to other vehicles in the same category (e.g., among all small SUVs) and to find out the highest fuel economy among all vehicles.

 

Fuel Consumption Rate: The estimated rate of fuel consumption, in gallons per 100 miles, for combined city and highway driving. Unlike MPG, consumption relates directly to the amount of fuel used, and thus to fuel expenditures.

 

Fuel Economy and Greenhouse Gas Rating: One-to-ten rating comparing the vehicle’s fuel economy and tailpipe carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to those of all other new vehicles, where a rating of 10 is best.

 

CO2 Emissions Information: Tailpipe CO2 emissions in grams per mile for combined city and highway driving and the emissions of the vehicle with lowest CO2 emissions.

 

Smog rating: A one-to-ten rating based on exhaust emissions that contribute to air pollution.

 

Fuel Costs: An estimate of how much more (or less) the vehicle will cost to fuel over five years relative to the average new vehicle, as well as its estimated annual fuel cost.

 

Website URL: The website, www.fueleconomy.gov, provides additional information and tools that allow consumers to compare different vehicles.

 

Smartphone interactive tool: A symbol (also known as a QR Code®) that smartphones can read to reach a website that will provide additional and customizable information about the vehicle. (To view the labels and for more information on the labels for advanced technology vehicles, visit www.epa.gov/otaq/cert/mpg/data.htm)