Comments sought on alternative fuel vehicle labeling rule

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTHSA) has published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to require certain new vehicles to feature badges, labels and owners manual information on alternative fuels.

The proposal, the goal of which is to increase consumer awareness, would apply to new passenger cars, low-speed vehicles and light duty trucks rated at not more than 8,500 pounds. 

The proposal results from Congress directing the U.S. DOT to develop and implement varied and wide-ranging consumer information and education initiatives related to fuel economy, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, alternative fuels and thermal management technologies in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

The NTHSA proposal would require manufacturers to identify each vehicle capable of running on alternative fuel by means of a permanent and prominent display affixed to the exterior of the vehicle. The manufacturer would also have to add text to the owners manuals of alternative fuel vehicles, describing the capabilities and benefits of using alternative fuels.

Furthermore, each vehicle capable of running on alternative fuels would be identified by a label in the fuel filler compartment.

The labeling program is expected to take effect in September 2016.

A public comment period is open through April 21.

Additional details on the proposal are available on the Federal Register website.

Comments can be submitted online through under Docket ID No. NHTSA-2010-0134.