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New Book Ranks Greenest 2003 Cars and SUVs

February 19, 2003

Amidst growing public interestin fuel efficiency and increasing concern about gas-guzzling SUVs, theAmerican Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has releasedthe new ACEEE's Green Book®: The Environmental Guide to Cars & Trucks --Model Year 2003.The company says ACEEE's Green Book® helps consumerscompare vehicles on the basis of a "Green Score," a measure thatincorporates fuel consumption and air pollution, including bothunhealthy tailpipe emissions and the emissions of gases that causeglobal warming."Whether you are looking to buy a compact car, large car, pickup,minivan, or SUV, the Green Book takes the guesswork out of identifyingwhich models are friendlier to the environment," says co-author JamesKliesch, a research associate at ACEEE.Using its "Green Score" ranking system, ACEEE's Green Book® says it alsoreveals the year's "greenest" and "meanest" -- the 12 least polluting,most efficient vehicles, and the 12 worst. In addition,it identifies the top-ranking models in each vehicle class.Topping the 2003 "greenest" list is Honda's hybrid gasoline-electricInsight, followed by Honda's natural gas-powered Civic GX and Toyota'selectric RAV4 EV sport utility. Two mass-market-oriented hybridgasoline-electric sedans, the Toyota Prius and Honda Civic Hybrid, arenext in line among the greenest vehicles of 2003. The Green Book notesthat gasoline-powered vehicles have been steadily improving in terms ofenvironmental performance, a fact reflected in this year's list: ten ofthe twelve greenest vehicles of the year can be fueled at the gas pump.Although the list of "meanest" vehicles is topped by a pair of sportscars, it is the remainder of the list that illustrates a problem withthis year's new vehicle fleet. "From an environmental standpoint, theFerraris and other exotics aren't a big deal, as their sales are verylimited," stated co-author John DeCicco, a senior fellow atEnvironmental Defense. "Of greater concern are the massive SUVs andpickup trucks, which not only have high emissions and consume a lot offuel, but also are sold in large numbers."According to the company, ACEEE's Green Book® identifies greener choices in a wide range ofvehicle types. The "best-in-class" list includes larger vehicles, suchas the more efficient versions of the Chrysler Voyager minivan, FordF-150 pickup, and Toyota Highlander SUV. Sedans like the ChevroletImpala and Honda Accord also score well in their classes."America's car buying decisions have significant energy, economic, andenvironmental impacts," noted Bill Prindle, deputy director of ACEEE. "If new car and light truck buyers chose the most efficient vehicles ineach size class, we would slash the 2003 fleet's gasoline use by 20percent, reducing gasoline costs by $3.7 billion and saving the averagebuyer $220 a year. And, of course, we would also cut greenhouse gasemissions and reduce our dependence on imported oil."Along with its summary "Green Scores," ACEEE's Green Book® details eachmodel's fuel economy, health-related pollution impacts, global warmingemissions, and estimated fuel expenses. Additional highlights of thenew edition include:
  • Advice on how to buy green when shopping for a new car or truck.
  • Details about today's gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles, and apreview of hybrids coming to market in the near future.
  • Information on how advanced technologies are providing today's carsand trucks with improved environmental performance.
  • A summary of tomorrow's environmental designs, including advancedengine technologies, high-strength lightweight materials, and hydrogenfuel cells.ACEEE has also updated, the companion website toACEEE's Green Book®. The site contains the year's "greenest,""meanest," and "best-in-class" lists, as well as consumer information onvehicles and the environment. Subscribers can search the website'sinteractive database (updated with new model releases throughout theyear) and build custom lists for comparing vehicles. Monthly and annualsubscriptions to the website are available at copies of the book can be ordered for $8.95 (plus shipping andhandling) direct from ACEEE Publications, from, or frommajor retail booksellers. ACEEE's Green Book®: The Environmental Guideto Cars & Trucks -- Model Year 2003 will be distributed nationwide. Bulk sales discounts are also available. For further information,contact:ACEEE Publications
    1001 Connecticut Avenue, NW Suite 801
    Washington, DC 20036-5525
    Phone: 202-429-0063, Fax: 202-429-0193
    Email: [email protected]
    Website: The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy is an independent,non-profit research group dedicated to advancing energy efficiency as ameans of protecting the environment and strengthening the economy. Formore information, see the website at
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