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.
High-mileage cars are off to a great start for the year with sales up 18% in these three categories in for the first three months of the year compared to last year. The monthly sales average continues to creep up so it is conceivable that sales could edge closer to a million units if the trend continues, which would definitely solidify the market for alternatives to conventional gasoline engines. The first quarter indicates it could be a very good year for high-MPG cars.
Ford is making a concerted push towards electrification, a key part of its strategy to boost fuel economy across its lineup. The Ford Fusion Energi, which Clean Fleet Report recently had the opportunity to sample for a brief test drive, is the centerpiece of a five-vehicle electrified fleet.
Volkswagen showed the latest version of its super-high-mileage cars–and this time said it would put it into production. In testing the two-passenger car delivers 261 miles per gallon. It’s body is made of lightweight but strong carbon fiber and its plug-in hybrid powertrain combines a small diesel engine and electric motors powered by lithium-ion batteries.
The Prius C hybrid ranked the number one green car of 2013 models by ACEEE. The ACEEE (American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy) has been singling out the greenest vehicles for a decade and a half, so their list is eagerly awaited for those focused on fuel efficiency and low pollutant emissions. The 2013 list has some familiar models, but has more new vehicles than any previous list, which shows the rapid shift the market has taken to high-efficiency vehicles.
You can mark 2012 down on the automotive history calendar. For the first time in almost hundred years, consumers have a real choice in cars. We’re not talking about the usual body style, color and equipment choices, but the substantial choice of what kind of powertrain you want under the hood if your focus is [...]
Honda is an engineering-led company, which is why it takes pride in accomplishments that might leave other companies scratching their heads at the effort expended. Take for example, its new 2014 Plug-in Hybrid Accord, which Clean Fleet Report recently tested. It became the first vehicle certified to California’s new emissions level–SULEV20. Why should you care? [...]
Auto shows always present a confusing story to the general public because the messages being transmitted through the media are intended for a variety of audiences – everyone from those interested in cheap, basic transportation to the enthusiast looking for the hottest, most-up-to-date muscle machine to the high-roller with money to burn on something exotic. [...]
The best selling all-electric car in 2012 is the Nissan LEAF. The Chevrolet Volt is the best selling plug-in hybrid. In 2013, Toyota, Ford, and Tesla have intensified the battle for electric car leadership. How will U.S. electric buyers vote with their pocketbooks for electric cars? See the list of Best Electric Cars and Plug-in Hybrids for 2012 and 2013.
The Clean Fleet Top 10 Low Carbon Footprint Passenger Vehicles include the expected (Prius) and the unexpected (an SUV). The vehicles are generally gas misers (in one case a CNG miser). Some are roomy midsized sedans and one is the king of legally parking where none of the others qualify.
President Barack Obama announced the availability of $2.4 billion in funding to put American ingenuity and America’s manufacturers to work producing next generation Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles and the advanced battery components that will make these vehicles run.
UPS operates nearly 100,000 ground vehicles, 600 airplanes, 3,000 facilities, and employs over 400,000 people. Although UPS has experienced over a 40% improvement in fuel economy with 50
hybrid-electric delivery vehicles, a new type of hydraulic hybrid may be even better.
In 1971, a bright engineer, Dr. Andy Frank, was looking to the future. He knew that oil production had peaked in the U.S. and that cheap oil would later peak globally. He calculated how to get 100 miles per gallon, and then he built a hybrid-electric car. A few years later there was a crisis [...]
When Coke and Pepsi were in the middle of their diet wars, California was an early battle ground. Now millions of Californians are being targeted as early adopters for a low carbon fuel diet. More miles, less carbon emission. It is the law. Executive Order S-1-07, the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), calls for a reduction of at least 10 percent in the carbon intensity of California’s transportation fuels by 2020.
Toyota Prius enthusiasts may now be forced to wait until 2011 to order a Prius with lithium batteries. It was hoped that the shift to these batteries would give hybrids better miles per gallon and accelerate the availability of a plug-in hybrid sold and warrantied by a major auto maker. Toyota (TM) did provide significant encouragement with the announcement that it is demonstrating ten plug-in hybrids (PHEV) and plans to follow with commercial sales. The new Toyota with its NiMH battery pack and has an all-electric range of only 13 kilometers (8 miles) and a maximum speed of only 100 km/h (62 mph) in electric-only mode. GM may beat Toyota to the PHEV market. Independents like A123 will be there first.