Car shopping? Coming very soon in California is a handy new window sticker that makes it easy to choose the cleanest vehicles. It’s terrific in its simplicity; each car, SUV, minivan or pickup will get a 1-10 score on the basis of global warming and smog pollution. Go for the high score (this isn’t golf) and you’ll be driving home in a clean vehicle.
The new Environmental Performance label, which will be on new vehicles starting in January, shows the Global Warming Score and Smog Score side-by-side. No tricky math for you do since the California Air Resources Board, which designed the label, breaks down technical emissions data into simple blocks. Also shown is the average score for all vehicles of that new model year, so you’ll know how each car in a showroom compares to the overall new vehicle fleet. Want to comparison shop before visiting showrooms? The Environmental Performance label points you to www.DriveClean.ca.gov, which will list the scores of all new vehicles for sale.
I like that the label is also a money-saver. Choosing a high Global Warming Score saves money at the pump because high-scoring vehicles are typically the most fuel efficient.
Not in California? Other states, like Pennsylvania, have already said they will adopt the Environmental Performance label. Until your state adopts the label, you should check out US EPA website www.fueleconomy.gov; it allows you to compare new and used vehicles side-by-side in terms of carbon footprint and smog pollution.