Buried among 8,000 public comments generated the last time the EPA redesigned the window sticker for new vehicles is this line from Tesla's then-director of public policy, James Chen: "How would consumers compare a vehicle capable of 25 mpg with an EV possessing a 56-kWh battery pack?"

That question was at the heart of a debate that played out from 2009 through 2011, when the EPA tried to better inform shoppers who were just starting to see plug-in cars parked on dealership lots alongside the familiar gasoline-powered ones.

Bound on one side by regulations that defined what it had to produce and on the other by what made sense for the industry at the time, the agency adopted an awkward term, MPGe, that many consumers still don't understand and rolled out a sticker that, less than a decade later, already begs for more clarity as electric vehicles become more mainstream.

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Automakers Want EPA Stickers To Actually Make Sense for EV Vehicles

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