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FTC Seeks Public Comments on Review of Labeling Requirements for the Alternative Fuels Rule

The Federal Trade Commission is seeking public comments on the costs, benefits, necessity, and regulatory and economic impact of its Labeling Requirements for Alternative Fuels and Alternative Fueled Vehicles (AFVs), also called the Alternative Fuels Rule, including issues related to electric vehicle charging stations.

The FTC is conducting this review as part of its ongoing, systematic review of all agency rules and guides. With this request for comment, the FTC is starting a new review of the rule. The FTC first published the Alternative Fuels Rule in 1995 as directed by the Energy Policy Act of 1992. To enable consumers to make informed buying decisions, the rule requires informative labels on fuel dispensers for non-liquid alternative fuels, such as electricity, compressed natural gas, and hydrogen. The Commission completed its most recent review of the rule 10 years ago, and as part of that process, eliminated separate FTC labeling requirements for AFVs such as electric cars, and, in their place, incorporated the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) fuel economy labeling requirements into the rule.

In addition to seeking comments on general questions about the rule, the FTC now seeks comments on specific issues related to electric vehicle charging stations. The Federal Register notice announcing the request for public comments includes specific questions about labeling for electric vehicle charging stations operated by retailers for consumers. It details the current rule’s requirements regarding disclosures on all public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and seeks input on whether, among other things, the FTC should make any changes to the content of the current EV charging stations label, what types of information the labels should disclose, and where they should appear.

Instructions for filing comments will be included the published notice. Comments must be received 60 days after the notice is published in the Federal Register. Once processed, comments will be posted on Regulations.gov. Consumers also may submit comments in writing by following the instructions in the “Supplementary Information” section of the notice. Comments must be received within 60 days after the request in published in the Federal Register.

The Commission vote approving publication of the request for public comments in the Federal Register was 3-0.

The primary staffer on this matter is Hampton Newsome in the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.