Fuel grading system fails auto consumers

Given the difficulties facing the auto industry, one would think the U.S. government would ease off the accelerator on absurd new regulations until cars started rolling more quickly off dealer lots.

The government itself still owns much of General Motors and Chrysler.

Instead, the federal Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation are considering new vehicle mileage ratings.

Reported aftermarketNews.com: “One proposal would replace the familiar numeric miles-per-gallon system required on all new cars and light trucks sold with an A, B, C grade system that would include an estimation of how much a driver might save in fuel costs per year.”

Electric or plug-in hybrid cars would get a grade of A+, A or A-. Gasoline-fueled cars would get lower marks.

But car buyers are familiar with the current system. It’s easy to see that a car estimated to get 31 mpg in the city is more economical than another model getting 28 mpg. And even electric cars run on electricity that commonly is generated by the burning of natural gas, a fossil fuel.

This is an idea that should crash and burn.