Green Car Comparisons
Green auto comparisons are essential in setting a benchmark for the hydrogen autos of the future. Today’s green autos are cleaner burning and more fuel efficient than ever before. The green autos that are currently being sold to consumers set the standard that hydrogen autos will need to exceed in order to be readily accepted by the general public.
According to GreenerCars.com (owned by American Council for Energy-Efficient Economy or ACEEE), the top 6 current positions for the greenest autos are held by Honda and Toyota:
1. HONDA CIVIC GX
2. HONDA INSIGHT
3. TOYOTA PRIUS
4. HONDA CIVIC HYBRID
5. TOYOTA COROLLA
6. TOYOTA ECHO
The autos include partial zero-emission vehicles (PZEV) and super-ultra-low-emission vehicles (SULEV). According to American Automobile Association’s Westways magazine, the following vehicles qualify as PZEV vehicles: Ford Focus 2.3-liter, Honda Civic Hybrid, Hundai Elantra, Mazda3, Toyota Prius and Volkswagen Jetta sedan.
The Environmental Protect Agency (EPA) also gives its current-year Greenhouse Gas Score on a rating scale from 1 -10 with 10 being the cleanest burning vehicles. The EPA’s list includes all of the autos also listed by the ACEEE minus the Toyota Corolla and Echo, which both rate a 9 on the EPA scale.
Neither ACEEE nor the EPA consider diesel vehicles to be green enough to be listed in their pages on green vehicles. Even though these vehicles cannot currently meet the requirements, a new fuel called “biodiesel” fuel has been accepted by the EPA as a clean burning diesel fuel alternative. Biodiesel is a clean burning alternative fuel, produced from domestic, renewable resources such as corn oil or vegetable oil. Biodiesel contains no petroleum, but it can be blended at any level with petroleum diesel to create a biodiesel blend.
Even long-time country singer Willy Nelson has gotten excited over biodiesel fuel. Nelson is so excited he has been promoting his own brand of BioWilly diesel fuel around the country. BioWilly helps diesel owners get on the road again with cleaner burning vehicles without any needed mechanical modifications.
The cleanest of the clean autos are the electric autos and hydrogen autos as they emit zero pollutants. Next come the natural gas and hybrid vehicles, which are the next best thing to zero emissions. Ford and Chevrolet have all rolled out their own lines of trucks and SUV’s that are clean burning hybrid gasoline / electric models as well.
What is clear is that with rising gas prices and vehicles that have backslid on gas mileage to the levels of the early 1980’s and the general acceptance that global warming is a reality, green autos are here to stay. With any luck, we will no longer backslide as we have been doing for the past 25 years but will go forward with ever greener vehicles from here on out.