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Hybrid Cars Are Here!

1.  from MSNBC Internet NewsAlert

Washington, DC (February 5, 2002): The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) [http://greenercars.com] today released the fifth edition of its groundbreaking consumer guide, ACEEE's Green Book™: The Environmental Guide to Cars & Trucks--Model Year 2002.

This year's top honors go to the hybrid-electric Insight, followed by Honda's natural gas-powered Civic GX, Toyota's electric RAV4 EV sport utility, and Toyota's Prius. And while the "meanest" vehicles list contains some of the largest pickup trucks and SUVs, there are higher-scoring trucks as well, which are recognized as best-in-class performers. "Whether you're looking for a compact car or a full-size pickup, this book identifies which models are friendlier to the planet," stated Kliesch.


from www.ecocenter.org

The City of Ann Arbor is poised to become the first in Michigan, and one of the first in the nation, to adopt a comprehensive "green fleets" purchasing policy. The policy, which will take effect in January 2001, requires the City to take into account emissions, fuel economy, and other environmental impacts before purchasing any vehicle...


from ACEEE Publications, 1001 Connecticut Avenue, NW Suite 801,Washington, DC 20036, Phone: 202-429-0063
Email: ace3pubs@ix.netcom.com ,Website: www.aceee.org

Washington, DC (July 12, 2000) -- The Toyota Prius sedan now ranks as the most environmentally friendly gasoline-powered vehicle on sale in the United States according to ACEEE's Green BookTM: The Environmental Guide to Cars & Trucks. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), publisher of the Green Book, today adds the Prius to its early Model Year 2001 ratings posted on GreenerCars.com, the online version of its comprehensive environmental guide to all vehicles on the U.S. market.

"A breakthrough level of fuel economy combined with extremely low tailpipe emissions propels the Prius to the top of our Greener Choices list," says John DeCicco, ACEEE's Green Book co-author. Rated at 52 miles-per-gallon (MPG) in the city and 45 MPG on the highway, the Prius goes an average of 60 percent farther on a gallon than other comparably sized sedans. "The Prius's high efficiency offers consumers a way to cut the global warming impact of their driving by 40 percent," notes DeCicco. "It also reduces health-damaging tailpipe pollution by 80 percent compared to a typical new compact car."

The Prius achieves its high efficiency by using the new technology of hybrid-electric drive. "The advanced gasoline engine in the Prius is a key aspect of the car's high fuel economy and low emissions," says ACEEE's Green Book co-author Jim Kliesch. The car generates its own electricity on-board, using this sophisticated engine coupled to its hybrid drivetrain. The Prius never needs to be plugged in, and goes much longer between fill-ups than a conventional car. "The Prius can take you 600 miles between fill-ups in city driving," estimates Kliesch. "Consumers will not only save fuel costs while cutting pollution, but also have the added convenience of less frequent trips to the gas station."

As the world's first mass-produced hybrid -- sold in Japan since December 1997 -- the Prius now joins the Honda Insight as the only two hybrids available in the United States. The Honda Insight is a sporty two-seater with a manual transmission, yielding a higher fuel economy than the Prius. The Prius is a full-featured, five-passenger family sedan and it also passes California's Super-Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicle (SULEV) test. This SULEV certification pushes its Green Score up to 50, edging out the Insight, which scores 47. ACEEE's Green Book rating system accounts for both health-threatening tailpipe pollution and global warming emissions.

"In terms of our green ratings, only the GM EV1 plug-in electric car and Honda's natural-gas powered Civic GX sedan out-score the Toyota Prius," states DeCicco. "Even though it is still powered by gasoline, the Prius offers environmental performance nearly as good as today's alternative technologies, but in a much more widely available and affordable package."

ACEEE's Green Book is available online at GreenerCars.com, where consumers can search an interactive database and build custom lists for comparing vehicles. Monthly and annual subscriptions, including updates via the website, are available. The print edition of ACEEE's Green BookTM: The Environmental Guide to Cars & Trucks may be ordered through major online booksellers or directly from GreenerCars.com for $8.95 plus $5.00 shipping and handling. For further information and bulk sales discounts, contact:

2.  Source:  Sierra Club News Release, Dec. 20, 2001

Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2001 10:59:08 -0500
Reply-To: Sierra Club Press Releases
Sender: Sierra Club Press Releases
From: David Willett <David.Willett@Sierraclub.org>
Subject: Sierra Club Welcomes Honda's New Civic Hybrid
Content-type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
For Immediate Release:
December 20, 2001

Alex Veitch, 202-607-4419
David Willett, 202-675-6698

Sierra Club Welcomes Honda's New Civic Hybrid

Washington, DC: The Sierra Club today welcomed Honda's newest fuel-saving
car, the Civic Hybrid. As the nation debates national energy security and
the need to reduce dependence on oil, Honda's second hybrid vehicle shows
how technology can help cut oil consumption, save consumers at the pump,
and curb global warming.

"The biggest single step we can take to save oil is to make cars, SUVs and
other light trucks go farther on a gallon of gas," said Daniel Becker,
Director of the Sierra Club's Global Warming and Energy Program. "Honda's
new Civic Hybrid will get 50 miles per gallon. At a time when we must
strive to save oil, this car proves we can."

Cars, SUVs and other light trucks now consume eight million barrels of oil
every day -- 40 percent of the oil used in the U.S. The Sierra Club
advocates raising Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for all
vehicles to 40 miles per gallon over the next ten years. This will put the
U.S. on the road to saving nearly four million barrels of oil every day --
more than we import from the Persian Gulf and could extract from the Arctic
National Wildlife Refuge combined.

Honda's new Civic Hybrid, like the Honda Insight, combines attributes of
electric and gasoline motors. The Civic Hybrid's highly efficient
gas-powered engine, refillable at any gas station, powers the vehicle and
also generates electricity for the electric motor, which helps provide
power. The Civic additionally captures the energy typically lost in
braking, directing it to recharge the batteries. Unlike pure electric
vehicles, a hybrid does not need to be plugged in. Because the Civic runs
on both gasoline and clean electricity, it achieves fuel economy of 50 mpg
and therefore emits much less global warming and air pollution than other

The average car emits about 70 tons of heat-trapping gas carbon dioxide
over its lifetime- the average SUV emits around 100 tons. Honda's Insight
hybrid produces only about 27 tons of carbon dioxide over the same

Including Toyota's Prius, there are now three hybrid vehicles sold in the
U.S. Other auto companies are touting prototypes for cleaner vehicles.
Ford Motor Company recently went back on their pledge to produce hybrid
Explorers, while it does plan to produce a hybrid Escape SUV in 2003. GM
and DaimlerChrysler also say they will make hybrids in the future.
Meanwhile, automakers are producing more gas guzzling SUVs: General Motors
alone is launching eight new SUVs for 2002.

"A foreign automaker is once again beating the Big Three in bringing a
highly efficient vehicle to the U.S. market. We need Congress to set new
CAFE standards to push Detroit to take technologies off the shelves and
start putting them to work," continued Becker.

The Senate is in the midst of setting national energy policy, including
debating raising fuel economy standards. Our elected officials should
update CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards to require
automakers to make cleaner cars and SUVS. When CAFE law was first passed in
1975, Detroit responded with more efficient cars, and now CAFE saves the
U.S. three million barrels of oil per day. Raising CAFE to an average of 40
miles per gallon over the next 10 years will save an additional two million
barrels of oil every day in 2012 and nearly four million barrels per day by
the end of the next decade.