- Greenhouse Gas Emissions
- Upstream Greenhouse Gas Emissions for E85
- EPA Smog Rating
- EPA SmartWay Certification
- Energy Impact Score
- Personalizing Estimates
- EPA Size Class
- Fuel Economics
- Engine Descriptors
- Transmission Descriptors
- Motor and Battery Descriptors
- The Difference Between Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
This measure shows a vehicle's impact on climate change in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases, mostly carbon dioxide (CO2), it emits. Your choice of vehicle has the biggest impact on your overall contribution to climate change.
Graph does not include CO2 from public transportation and air travel.
We provide two kinds of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission estimates:
- Tailpipe-only CO2 emissions
- Tailpipe and "upstream" GHG emissions (CO2 and other GHGs)
If a vehicle can operate on more than one type of fuel, an estimate is provided for each fuel type.
These estimates include CO2 emitted from the vehicle's tailpipe and can be displayed grams per mile, U.S. tons per year, or metric tons per year.
A rating scale is also displayed to show how the vehicle's tailpipe CO2 emissions compare to those of other vehicles for all model years back to 1984 (GHG rating scale charts by model year).
Note: Tailpipe CO2 is estimated using an EPA emissions factor and does not reflect direct test results.
Tailpipe and Upstream Emissions
These estimates include CO2, methane, and nitrous oxide emitted from all steps in the use of a fuel, from production and refining to distribution and final use—vehicle manufacture is excluded. Methane and nitrous oxide emissions are converted into a CO2 equivalent. Tailpipe emissions and upstream emissions—those that occur prior to the fuel being used in the vehicle—are displayed.
Personalize Your Estimate
You can personalize the GHG emission estimates by indicating your annual mileage and the percentage of miles you drive in city vs. highway driving conditions.
Upstream Greenhouse Gas Emissions for E85
Upstream greenhouse gas emissions related to the production of ethanol depend on many variables and uncertainties that are currently being studied. Estimates for flex-fuel vehicles are not provided at this time.
Additional information about the full lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of ethanol can be found at
- Renewable Fuel Standard: Potential Economic and Environmental Effects of U.S. Biofuel Policy (National Research Council 2011)
- Ethanol: The Complete Energy Lifecycle Picture (DOE 2007)
- Renewable Fuel Standard Program (RFS2) Regulatory Impact Analysis (EPA 2010)
EPA Smog Rating & Smartway Certification
EPA Smog Rating
The EPA Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits. Scoring ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best). This rating does not include emissions of greenhouse gases.
For more detailed information about the smog rating, see EPA's Green Vehicle Guide.
Ratings Vary By State
All light-duty cars and trucks must meet either federal (EPA) or California emission requirements. Individual states can choose which standards apply to vehicles sold in that state.
Within both the federal and California systems, automakers may choose from a range of emission standards for each of their vehicles, while maintaining the required fleet average, which is why you see a range of smog ratings.
Two vehicles of the same make and model may have different smog ratings. This is generally due to the vehicles being sold in different states (one with federal standards, and another with California standards). Two situations can occur:
- The vehicles have different emissions configurations. You can distinguish between these vehicles by locating the 12-digit "Engine Family" or "Test Group ID" on the certification label under the hood (see diagram below). You can also find this ID number under vehicle smog ratings posted on fueleconomy.gov.
- The vehicles have identical Engine Family or Test Group IDs, but the manufacturer has decided to certify the vehicles to different emission standards. Although fueleconomy.gov provides smog ratings by state, the fuel economy labels that are affixed to vehicles on dealership lots will always reflect the federal standard.
The certification label can usually be found in one of several locations under the hood.
The SmartWay Elite certification is reserved for those vehicles that attain the best smog and greenhouse gas emission ratings.
Since the SmartWay certification is based partly on the EPA Smog Rating, you must indicate the state where the vehicle will be purchased to view the SmartWay Certification.
Energy Impact Score
The Energy Impact Score shows the number of barrels of petroleum the vehicle will likely consume each year from domestic sources (red and blue barrels) and imports (black barrels).
The estimates on this page are based on assumptions about a "typical" driver. Clicking the Personalize button in the upper-left corner of the table allows you to enter information about your annual mileage, the percentage of miles you drive in city vs. highway driving conditions, and your local fuel prices so that we can provide estimates just for you.
EPA Size Class
The size class for cars is based on interior passenger and cargo volumes as described below. The size class for trucks is defined by the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), which is the weight of the vehicle and its carrying capacity. Fuel economy regulations do not apply to heavy-duty vehicles, so they are not tested. See Which Vehicles Are Tested for more information on these vehicles.
|Class||Passenger & Cargo Volume (Cu. Ft.)|
|Subcompact||85 to 99|
|Compact||100 to 109|
|Mid-Size||110 to 119|
|Large||120 or more|
|Mid-Size||130 to 159|
|Large||160 or more|
|Class||Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)*|
|Pickup Trucks||Through MY 2007||As of MY 2008|
|Small||<4,500 lbs.||<6,000 lbs.|
|Standard||4,500 to 8,500 lbs.||6,000 to 8,500 lbs.|
|Vans||Through MY 2010||As of MY 2011|
|Passenger||<8,500 lbs.||<10,000 lbs.|
|SUVs||Through MY 2010||As of MY 2011|
|<8,500 lbs.||<10,000 lbs.|
|Special Purpose Vehicles||Through MY 2010||As of MY 2011|
|<8,500 lbs.||<8,500 lbs.
or <10,000 lbs.,
depending on configuration
MY = model year
*Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) is calculated as truck weight plus carrying capacity.
Fuel cost estimates assume national average fuel prices and assume you drive 15,000 miles each year, 45% under highway driving conditions (steady speeds with little or no stopping) and 55% in city driving (low speeds with lots of stopping).
You can personalize these values to reflect the price of fuel in your area and your own driving patterns.
Cost to Refuel
Cost to completely refuel the vehicle when the tank (or battery) is 100% empty. Plug-in hybrids have refueling costs for both the fuel tank and the battery.
Distance on a Full Tank/Charge
The distance the vehicle can go from a full tank or full charge (or both, with plug-in hybrids). U.S. or metric units can be displayed depending on the setting in Personalize.
The amount of fuel the vehicle can hold. For a vehicle using gasoline or another liquid fuel, this is the size of the fuel tank in gallons or liters. For electric vehicles, this is the battery capacity in kilowatt-hours. Plug-in hybrids have a capacity for both liquid fuel and electricity.
Engine, Motor, and Transmission Descriptors
What's the difference between air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions?
The smog and greenhouse gas ratings measure different types of vehicle emissions. Air pollutants harm human health and/or cause smog. Greenhouse gas emissions (primarily CO2) contribute to climate change.