Hybrid Cars - Alternative Energy



Hybrid cars have increased in popularity as of late.Nows the time to support alternative energy solutions and technologies.

Hybrid Cars - Alternative Energy

HYBRID NATION




"Hybrid Nation"











Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Greenest Cars

From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: What are the most environmentally friendly and highest mileage cars on the market today? Also, are the batteries in hybrid cars recyclable? -- Shiela Gosselin, via e-mail

According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s (ACEEE) Green Book, an annual environmental rating of the best and worst cars, Honda and Toyota models led the pack as the world’s “greenest” automobiles for 2006. Not surprisingly, top honors went to a hybrid gasoline-electric vehicle, Honda’s Insight, which pairs an efficient electric motor with a gasoline engine to save gas and minimize emissions. Unfortunately, the Insight, launched in 1999, will soon be discontinued due to declining sales.

To determine a car’s rankings, in addition to fuel efficiency ACEEE factors in the pollution generated by a given vehicle based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emissions ratings. While the Insight does not have as clean an exhaust rating as Toyota’s hybrid Prius, it has slightly better highway mileage (56 versus 51 miles per gallon), making it the overall winner. Other top green models on ACEEE’s list include various versions of Honda’s Civic (particularly its natural gas version) and Toyota’s Corolla and Matrix. The Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio, Mazda 3, Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Ion also placed well.

Regarding batteries, hybrid advocates insist that the nickel-metal hydride batteries found in the Toyota Prius, Honda Insight and other hybrids contain far fewer pollutants than the lead-acid types present in traditional gas-powered cars. Furthermore, carmakers are keen to keep such batteries out of landfills, with Toyota even offering to buy back spent hybrid batteries for $200 so it can recycle them.
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