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As part of the Federal Trade Commission's systematic review of all current FTC rules and guides, the FTC is proposing to consolidate the labels required on alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) with those required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), eliminating the need for two different labels and reducing the burden of complying with the Alternative Fuels Rule.

Created in 1995 under the Energy Policy Act of 1992, the Rule requires labels that provide simple, appropriate information to help consumers comparison shop. The labels for new AFVs disclose a vehicle's estimated mileage on a charge or tank of fuel, general factors consumers should consider before buying an AFV, and toll-free telephone numbers and websites for more information from the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Labels for used AFVs contain only the general buying factors and the DOE/NHTSA contact information.

In June 2011, the FTC began its review of the Rule, seeking comment on the consolidation of the FTC label with the EPA's fuel economy label, the inclusion of new definitions for AFVs in recent legislation, and the retention of labeling requirements for used AFVs, as well as seeking comment on the Rule's costs, benefits, and regulatory impact. After weighing the comments it received, the FTC proposes to consolidate FTC labels with EPA labels for all AFVs, including AFV categories designated by recent legislation, and to eliminate FTC labeling requirements for used AFVs.

The Rule also sets out labeling requirements for non-liquid alternative fuels such as electricity, compressed natural gas, and hydrogen. The FTC does not propose any changes to existing alternative fuel rating requirements for fuel dispensers.

Since 1992, the FTC has reviewed all its rules and guides on a rotating basis to ensure they are up-to-date, effective, and not overly burdensome. The agency relies on input from the public, including consumers, businesses, advocates, industry experts and others, to help it decide whether rules and guides should be updated, left as is, or rescinded.

The Commission vote approving the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was 5-0. It is available on the FTC's website and as a link to this press release and will be published in the Federal Register soon. Instructions for filing comments appear in the Federal Register Notice. Comments must be received by August 17, 2012. All comments received will be posted at (FTC File No. R311002; the staff contact is Hampton Newsome, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-2889)

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(Alt Fuels Rule)

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