This week, the Canadian automotive industry had time to respond to the Canadian Government’s introduction of an improved test methodology for establishing fuel-consumption values, which will be used for new 2015 model-year vehicles — and the verdict is positive.

The Canadian Vehicle Manufacturer’s’ Association announced it supports the steps to improve vehicle fuel consumption ratings, noting it approves of the new test methodology being aligned with the existing U.S. Environmental Protection Association methods.

The government has updated the old two cycle test methodology to five cycle test methodology to measure fuel consumption of a vehicle, and it has introduced new five cycle fuel consumption values to the EnerGuide labels that appear on vehicles, beginning with the 2015 model year.

The Canadian Government will also continue to work on finalizing new labels that will provide additional helpful information for consumers beginning with the 2016 model year

"Not only is this a logical step for Canada, given our integrated sales market with the United States, and common vehicle emission standards between the two countries, but consumers will benefit from having new fuel consumption ratings that more closely reflect today's driving patterns," said Mark Nantais, president of the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers Association.

The initiative includes new fuel-consumption ratings and labels for cars and trucks. The new labels will be put on 2015 model-year vehicles and will allow consumers to compare CO2 emissions when searching for a new car.

Federal Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver explained the new ratings are designed to give consumers a more reliable gauge for a vehicle’s fuel efficiency by taking into account factors, including air conditioner use, winter weather, braking and rapid acceleration.

The government also announced it will be publishing a list of the most fuel-efficient vehicles this year, which will also include an online searchable database for consumers. The list can be found here.

The Global Automarkers of Canada also expressed their support for the announcement.

"We commend the government for moving to this change in test methodology, which simply means that the fuel consumption values shown on the label of 2015 model-year vehicles will be a more accurate reflection of the amount of fuel that the vehicle actually consumes. This change typically means that 2015 model-year vehicles will have labels that show greater fuel consumption than a similar 2014 model-year vehicle," said David Adams, president of the Global Automakers of Canada.

"Employing a test methodology that provides the car buying public with a more accurate picture of the estimated fuel consumption of all vehicles is important in ensuring that customers have all of the relevant information in hand when the time comes to purchase a new vehicle, especially those consumers for whom fuel-efficiency is one of the factors influencing the type of vehicle they end up purchasing," he continued.

The association also cautioned that as some model-year 2015 vehicles are entering the marketplace starting this month, "it is extremely important for consumers to understand the difference between 2014 label values that reflect the old two cycle test methodology, and the new five cycle testing methodology reflected on the label value of a 2015 model year vehicle."