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Guide Ranks Green Fleet Candidates for 2002

The votes are in, and automakers Honda and Toyota are seeing green. According to a groundbreaking consumer guide, the companies produce the most environmentally friendly cars going.

In the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s just-released fifth edition of its consumer guide, ACEEE's Green Book: The Environmental Guide to Cars & Trucks -- Model Year 2002, editors commend Honda’s hybrid-electric Insight and natural gas-powered Civic GX, and Toyota's electric RAV4 EV sport utility and Prius.

The Guide, recognized by many in the industry as the preeminent guide to environmentally friendly automobiles, provides comprehensive information on the environmental performance of all model year 2002 cars and trucks.

According to Green Book co-author James Kliesch, a research associate in ACEEE's transportation program, every new passenger car, pickup truck, SUV, and minivan sold in the United States is evaluated with both an overall green score and a class ranking.

"This allows car buyers to compare vehicles not only alongside their peers, but across vehicle classes as well," Kliesch said.

ACEEE's Green Book identifies the year's 12 “greenest” and 12 “meanest” (least eco-friendly) vehicles, and examines how automotive trends are affecting the environment.

According to John DeCicco, Green Book creator and senior fellow at Environmental Defense, with gasoline engines steadily improving, consumers have planet-friendly options throughout the market, including trucks and SUVs.

“In fact, 10 of the 12 'Greenest Vehicles of 2002' are gasoline powered, including the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight gasoline-electric hybrid cars,” DeCicco said.

Topping ACEEE's "meanest" list for 2002 are the Dodge Ram Pickup 2500, the Chevrolet Suburban K2500, and the GMC Yukon XL K2500.

Highlights of the new edition include:
  • details about today's gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles, and a preview of those coming to market;

  • information on how advanced technologies provide today's conventional cars with improved environmental performance;

  • advice on how to buy green when shopping for a new automobile; and

  • a look at environmental designs of tomorrow, including fuel cells, advanced engine technologies, and high-strength lightweight materials.

This year's top honors go to the hybrid-electric Insight, followed by Honda's natural gas-powered Civic GX, Toyota's electric RAV4 EV sport utility, and Toyota's Prius. And while the "meanest" vehicles list contains some of the largest pickup trucks and SUVs, there are higher-scoring trucks as well, which are recognized as best-in-class performers.

"Whether you're looking for a compact car or a full-size pickup, this book identifies which models are friendlier to the planet," Kliesch said.

The publication rates vehicles according to tailpipe pollution and global warming emissions, as well as by pollution from auto factories and refineries. Along with the summary Green Scores, ACEEE's Green Book details each model's fuel economy; health-related pollution impacts, global warming emissions, and estimated fuel expenses.

ACEEE has also updated, the companion Web site to ACEEE's Green Book. Subscribers can search the Web site's interactive database (updated with new model releases throughout the year) and build custom lists for comparing vehicles. Monthly and annual subscriptions to the site are available at

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy is an independent, not-for-profit research group dedicated to advancing energy efficiency as a means of protecting the environment and strengthening the economy.

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