BOSTON, Nov. 10, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- BeFrugal.com proposes a new method for calculating fuel economy and emissions to help consumers better compare different types of vehicles - gas, diesel, gas/electric hybrid, and electric.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have proposed changes to the Motor Vehicle Fuel Economy Label that, according to BeFrugal.com, will only partially help consumers understand the fuel economy and emissions of advanced technology vehicles including plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs).
The EPA and NHTSA's MPG-e calculation is based on an energy equivalency of 33.7 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per gallon. However, energy equivalency, not being a market based calculation, does not take the cost of electricity or gasoline into account and therefore does not offer consumers a good picture of the fuel economy of the vehicle.
Furthermore, the EPA and NHTSA's proposed labeling only shows tailpipe CO2 emissions, and ignores CO2 emissions associated with PHEV and EV operation that occur at power plant and other upstream sources.
With all vehicles, particularly PHEVs and EVs, the individual driver's driving habits and geographic location will significantly affect the fuel costs and CO2 emissions. BeFrugal.com proposes a cost equivalent MPG calculation and a CO2 emissions calculation that is personalized to the individual consumer's driving habits, and properly accounts for gas and electricity costs, tailpipe CO2 emissions, and upstream CO2 emissions.
Consumers interested in determining their cost equivalent MPG and annual CO2 emissions can use BeFrugal.com's web-based calculator to get their personalized calculations. The calculator is available at http://www.befrugal.com/tools/electric-car-calculator
BeFrugal is also making the calculator available for licensing to the EPA and NHTSA. BeFrugal.com is a website focused on frugal living, and features coupons, deals and bargains, as well as web-based tools to help consumers save money. An FAQ explaining the Cost Equivalent MPG calculation is available at http://www.befrugal.com/articles/frequently-asked-questions/cost-equivalent-mpg-faq/