Amidst growing public interest
in fuel efficiency and increasing concern about gas-guzzling SUVs, the
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has released
the new ACEEE's Green Book®: The Environmental Guide to Cars & Trucks --
Model Year 2003.
The company says ACEEE's Green Book® helps consumers
compare vehicles on the basis of a "Green Score," a measure that
incorporates fuel consumption and air pollution, including both
unhealthy tailpipe emissions and the emissions of gases that cause
"Whether you are looking to buy a compact car, large car, pickup,
minivan, or SUV, the Green Book takes the guesswork out of identifying
which models are friendlier to the environment," says co-author James
Kliesch, a research associate at ACEEE.
Using its "Green Score" ranking system, ACEEE's Green Book® says it also
reveals 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-electric
Insight, followed by Honda's natural gas-powered Civic GX and Toyota's
electric RAV4 EV sport utility. Two mass-market-oriented hybrid
gasoline-electric sedans, the Toyota Prius and Honda Civic Hybrid, are
next in line among the greenest vehicles of 2003. The Green Book notes
that gasoline-powered vehicles have been steadily improving in terms of
environmental performance, a fact reflected in this year's list: ten of
the 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 sports
cars, it is the remainder of the list that illustrates a problem with
this year's new vehicle fleet. "From an environmental standpoint, the
Ferraris and other exotics aren't a big deal, as their sales are very
limited," stated co-author John DeCicco, a senior fellow at
Environmental Defense. "Of greater concern are the massive SUVs and
pickup trucks, which not only have high emissions and consume a lot of
fuel, but also are sold in large numbers."
According to the company, ACEEE's Green Book® identifies greener choices in a wide range of
vehicle types. The "best-in-class" list includes larger vehicles, such
as the more efficient versions of the Chrysler Voyager minivan, Ford
F-150 pickup, and Toyota Highlander SUV. Sedans like the Chevrolet
Impala and Honda Accord also score well in their classes.
"America's car buying decisions have significant energy, economic, and
environmental impacts," noted Bill Prindle, deputy director of ACEEE.
"If new car and light truck buyers chose the most efficient vehicles in
each size class, we would slash the 2003 fleet's gasoline use by 20
percent, reducing gasoline costs by $3.7 billion and saving the average
buyer $220 a year. And, of course, we would also cut greenhouse gas
emissions and reduce our dependence on imported oil."
Along with its summary "Green Scores," ACEEE's Green Book® details each
model's fuel economy, health-related pollution impacts, global warming
emissions, and estimated fuel expenses. Additional highlights of the
new 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 a
preview of hybrids coming to market in the near future.
Information on how advanced technologies are providing today's cars
and trucks with improved environmental performance.
A summary of tomorrow's environmental designs, including advanced
engine technologies, high-strength lightweight materials, and hydrogen
ACEEE has also updated GreenerCars.com, the companion website to
ACEEE's Green Book®. The site contains the year's "greenest,"
"meanest," and "best-in-class" lists, as well as consumer information on
vehicles and the environment. Subscribers can search the website's
interactive database (updated with new model releases throughout the
year) and build custom lists for comparing vehicles. Monthly and annual
subscriptions to the website are available at GreenerCars.com.
Hard copies of the book can be ordered for $8.95 (plus shipping and
handling) direct from ACEEE Publications, from GreenerCars.com, or from
major retail booksellers. ACEEE's Green Book®: The Environmental Guide
to Cars & Trucks -- Model Year 2003 will be distributed nationwide.
Bulk sales discounts are also available. For further information,
1001 Connecticut Avenue, NW Suite 801
Washington, DC 20036-5525
Phone: 202-429-0063, Fax: 202-429-0193
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy is an independent,
non-profit research group dedicated to advancing energy efficiency as a
means of protecting the environment and strengthening the economy. For
more information, see the website at www.aceee.org.