Sport utility vehicles and crossovers (crossovers being sport utility vehicles based on a car rather than truck chassis) are popular even as the general trend toward higher MPG vehicles moves forward. The reason is simple: they are functional. One trip to Costco is enough to convince many families that a Prius won’t cut it. Regular trips up to the mountains in the winter to ski could similarly motivate a car buyer to look for an all-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive vehicle rather than the front-wheel drive found on most high-mileage hybrids. Cars don’t always cut it.
All of which leaves the environmentally conscious consumer with some tough choices. If your lifestyle points you toward an SUV or crossover, you still want to do what you can to minimize your contribution to further CO2 in the atmosphere. There are no electric SUVs, no plug-in hybrids (yet) and only a few hybrid and clean diesel models, so the key is to check out the most fuel efficient models that fit your needs. Since one of those needs with this class of vehicles usually entails a good amount of distance travel, we’re using the highway fuel economy as the benchmark for our Top 10 list.
MPG is still on consumers’ minds as car and truck sales of hybrids, plug-in cars and clean diesels continued to outpace the overall market in February 2012. High mileage hybrids, plug-ins and diesels had their second good month to begin the year, bettering the high bar set by the overall market. Hybrids continued to be above 3 percent of the market and both hybrids and diesels accelerated sales beyond a strong overall market (up 16.1% and 23.3% respectively compared to the overall market rise of 14.3%).
Look for Major MPG Gains in Ford F150 and Toyota Tacoma Trucks; Toyota Highlander and Ford Escape SUVs. Ford and Toyota– the world’s two leading manufacturers of hybrid vehicles –announced they will equally collaborate on the development of an advanced new hybrid system for light truck and SUVs. Ford and Toyota have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the product development collaboration. Toyota has sold over 3 million hybrids, leading with the Prius, to achieve significant hybrid market share leadership. Ford has taken hybrid market share from Honda with the Ford Fusion Hybrid and achieved impressive SUV mileage with the Ford Escape Hybrid. The new powerful and fuel-efficient trucks and SUVs from this partnership will almost certainly use lithium batteries.
By Tom Bartley (52/11) Do you have work trucks idling for power take offs? You don’t want to pay the price for a full hybrid truck? Add-on battery conversions for new and older work vehicles are available for a fraction of full hybrid cost. 4+ hours of work can be done without fear of killing [...]
This excerpt from the book Save Gas, Save the Planet highlights the future of Transportation 2.0. During the next 20 years we will witness a major shift from vehicles that are mostly mechanical to vehicles that are primarily electronic. People share tips and stories about how they save by riding smart, riding less, riding together, and riding clean.
Hybrids are in demand now that oil prices have doubled since March. Some 2010 hybrids have double the MPG of others. The third generation 2010 Toyota Prius tops the list with the best fuel economy and lowest carbon footprint in the United States. Honda, Ford, Nissan, Lexus, and Chevrolet also made the Top 10 list.
The 2010 Toyota Prius continues to deliver the best mileage in the United States. It will get you to work using less gasoline than the others. Accelerate on an expressway with power to spare. You can seat up to five, or drop the back seat and carry lots of business stuff, extras for a vacation, or bicycles and snow boards. Over a decade, Toyota has learned and improved, giving the new Prius record fuel economy and more room inside. The Prius continues to outsell all other hybrids.
Ford has returned to profitability, benefiting from increased market share which is the likely result of improved mileage. Ford earned almost $2.4 billion for the quarter, but it was the result of a large one-time gain associated with the debt reduction actions completed in April. In contrast with GM and Chrysler, Ford is the only U.S.-headquartered manufacturer with vehicles qualifying for the Clean Fleet Report Cars with the Lowest Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Both the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Ford Escape Hybrid are in the top 10 list.
“Even in the midst of the economic downturn, American truck and system makers are poised for a break-through in producing hybrid technology, leading to reduced fuel use and emissions and creating ‘green tech’ jobs,” says Bill Van Amburg, CALSTART senior vice president.
Test drives reveal that 2010 hybrids and other fuel efficient vehicles deliver better performance and fuel economy. Drives include the Honda Insight, the Ford Fusion Hybrid, and the MINI Cooper Convertible.
It is Ford with the world’s most fuel-efficient SUV – the Ford Escape Hybrid. It is Ford that is now selling a mid-sized hybrid which can be driven to 47 mph in electric vehicle mode – the Ford Fusion Hybrid. It is Ford that is successfully testing the Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid with major electrical utilities across the nation. It is Ford, not Toyota, which will be selling commercial electric vehicles in the United States in 2010. Through continued advances and strategic partnerships in hybrid-electric, plug-in hybrid, and battery-electric vehicles, Ford is positioned to compete and even lead in growth segments of the auto industry.
Toyota achieves a record 50 miles per gallon with the new 2010 Prius, which just made its formal debut at the North American International Auto Show. Toyota is also accelerating its roll-out of plug-in hybrids. Toyota confirmed its plan to launch a battery-electric vehicle (BEV) by 2012.
Four-door sedans have always been popular. In growing demand, especially by fleets, are four-door sedans with the lowest greenhouse gas emissions. The Toyota Prius faces new competition from the Honda Insight and the Ford Fusion Hybrid.
Hertz, as the largest international rental car company, has entered the car sharing market by launching the Connect by Hertz car sharing club, with neighborhood parking in London, New York City and Paris. Hertz plans to expand into additional cities, as well as universities, in 2009. As Hertz expands, it can leverage its established presence in 8,100 locations in 144 countries worldwide.
“One of the most serious business issues currently facing General Motors is our product’s near total dependence on petroleum as a source of energy. To address this issue, we have been implementing a strategy to displace petroleum through energy diversity and efficiency,” explained Dr. Larry Burns, Vice-President of Research and Development for General Motors, during his keynote speech.