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Vehicle stickers will have new fuel info

U.S. cars and light trucks will carry labels comparing estimated five-year fuel costs with those of the average new vehicle following industry opposition to adding fuel-economy letter grades to the window stickers.

The labels, which will include annual fuel-cost estimates, must be affixed to passenger cars and trucks sold in the United States starting with model year 2013, the Washington-based Environmental Protection Agency and Transportation Department said in a statement yesterday. The new stickers will rate vehicles on a scale of 1 to 10 for smog and greenhouse-gas emissions.

"These new window stickers are a win-win" for consumers and the auto industry, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said yesterday at a news conference in Washington. "They'll help consumers make informed choices to save at the pump."

President Barack Obama's administration is writing rules to improve fuel economy for cars and trucks that may require annual fuel-efficiency improvements of as much as 7 percent from 2017 to 2025. New vehicles have displayed stickers estimating annual fuel costs as of model year 2008. Before that, the labels showed how many miles per gallon a vehicle could get in a city or on a highway.

According to the rule announced yesterday, plug-in hybrids and fully electric vehicles will have labels that specify how far a car can drive on electric power when charged.

Environmental groups had supported the letter-grade plan.-- Bloomberg News

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