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Best Green Cars, 2012

Here are the best bets for driving and saving green: a great American invention (the Chevrolet Volt); the Prius (shrunken and stretched into the Prius C and Prius V); the most successful electric car to date (the Nissan Leaf); a clean diesel sedan fit for the whole family (the Volkswagen Passat TDI); and the least expensive electric car yet (the Mitsubishi i). These landmark vehicles are raising the bar for greener, more affordable transportation and will spark more innovation from the auto industry. Whether you own one of these cars now, later or never, you’ll benefit from their influence. 

GUIDE TO GREEN CARS, Summer 2012

By John Rockhold 

Every year, it becomes more difficult to choose just six vehicles for the annual MOTHER EARTH NEWS Best Green Cars list. That’s great news for you — the harder my job is, the more options you have to choose from when you’re looking for an energy-efficient, practical, reliable, safe, eco-friendly, money-saving and fun-to-drive car.

Right now we’re in the early stages of radical change in the auto industry. Hybrid cars have become ordinary. Electric cars are really here. Diesel is back and far better than ever. Even the internal-combustion gasoline engine has new life thanks to efficiency improvements. The American automakers have emerged from the auto bailout and now offer significantly better products. Given demands from the public (motivated by rising gas prices and environmental concerns) and the federal government (increasing fuel economy standards), every automaker will have to significantly improve the efficiency of its fleet over the next several years. At the same time, energy-efficient transportation technologies — especially batteries — are improving rapidly.

Given all of these influences, the pace of change within automobiles could soon accelerate from 70 mph to warp speed. It’s possible that the numbers (such as miles per gallon, electric range) for today’s top green cars, as good as they are now, will be laughably low within two to three years. That will be good news for everybody who needs to drive and wants to spend as little money as possible in doing so — which is just about all of us, these days.

Speaking of change, you might notice something strange in our list: The Prius is listed twice — huh? Indeed, the Prius is now plural (Prii), with multiple models. The “conventional” Prius is still the king of mpg, but its C and V siblings have bumped their older brother from this year’s list.

Another oddity is the absence of Honda, a longtime leader in high-mpg cars. A list of green cars without a Honda model feels like a basketball team without a point guard, but this speaks to how high the bar has been raised. Honda still offers great options and is in the hunt to improve (an all-electric version of the Fit is coming soon), but so is every other automaker.

If you’ve heard negative stories about the Chevy Volt, you might be surprised to see it listed here. It’s unfortunate that such an innovative and important car would be caught up in partisan political warfare and pundit posturing. Make no mistake, the Volt is safe (see The Truth About Electric Car Safety) and can nearly eliminate your need for gasoline.

Even if you’re not looking for a new car right now, the following list will tell you what to expect in terms of the top options in practical, energy-efficient vehicles. None of them are cheap upfront, but they have the potential to save you a staggering amount of money over time.

Best Green Cars: Keys to the Data and the Experts

The Data

Base Price: Manufacturer’s suggested retail price + the destination fee

Gas Mileage: Official fuel economy estimate from the EPA (your mileage may vary)

Annual Fuel Cost: Assumes $3.75/gallon regular gasoline; $4.00/gallon premium gasoline; $4.05/gallon diesel; $0.12 per kilowatt-hour of electricity; 15,000 miles driven annually at 55% city, 45% highway

Air Pollution Score: From the EPA; zero = most tailpipe emissions, 10 = least

Greenhouse Gas Score: From the EPA; zero = most greenhouse gas emissions, 10 = least

ACEEE Green Score: From the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy; the higher the score, the better; best 2012 score is 58; see ACEEE’s Green Book 

The Experts

Sebastian Blanco: writer and editor, AutoblogGreen, part of AOL Autos

David Friedman: deputy director, Clean Vehicles, Union of Concerned Scientists 

Wayne Gerdes: owner and administrator, CleanMPG.com 

Bill Moore: editor-in-chief, EV World 

Shruti Vaidyanathan: senior transportation analyst, ACEEE 


Chevrolet Volt

(extended-range electric; compact hatchback)

Base Price: $39,995; $32,495 after federal tax creditChevy-Volt-Red 

Gas Mileage Equivalent: 95 city, 93 hwy, 94 combined (electric only); 35 city, 40 hwy, 37 combined (gas only)

Annual Fuel Cost: $650 (electric only); $1,600 (gas only)

Air Pollution Score: 10 (electric), 6 (gas)

Greenhouse Gas Score: 10 (electric), 8 (gas)

ACEEE Green Score: 53 (electric), 44 (gas)

Electric Range: 25 to 50 miles; 375 total via electric and gas

Recharge Time: 4 hours on 240 volts; 10 hours on 120 volts

PROS 

Best Green Cars Pros Enough range for most daily needs, plus gas engine safety net.

Best Green Cars Pros Average cost for a full recharge: $1.55.

Best Green Cars Pros Incredibly comfortable and smooth to drive, on electric or gas. Feels like a spaceship when all-electric. Guilty pleasure: Sport Mode.

Best Green Cars Pros $7,500 federal tax credit. Details on state incentives are at the Chevrolet website. Examples: $6,000 tax credit in CO, $7,500 tax credit in WV.

Best Green Cars Pros Lowest total ownership costs over five years for any electric car, according to Kelley Blue Book.

Best Green Cars Pros Superb crash safety ratings from government and nonprofit organizations. Electrical system now even safer given recent upgrades.

CONS 

Best Green Cars Cons Sticker price of $39,995 ($32,495 after federal tax credit).

Best Green Cars Cons Long recharge time on standard electrical outlet. Cost to install faster 240-volt setup in your garage can vary from $300 to $1,900.

Best Green Cars Cons Only seats four; back seat area uncomfortable for tall or large adults.

EXPERTS SAY 

“The Volt is still woefully misunderstood by many, especially pundits. It’s a great piece of engineering and provides most drivers with the best of both worlds. Too bad it’s still expensive.” — Sebastian Blanco

“The American ‘Moonshot’ and fuel saver (what fuel?) is beyond reproach. Earned a five-star safety rating in arguably the toughest crash test regimen in the world.” — Wayne Gerdes

“Despite naysayer pessimism, first-year Volt sales beat first-year Prius sales from back in 2000.” — David Friedman

“With 10 million lines of computer code (more than in the Boeing 787), the Volt is an electric car when you want it to be and a hybrid when it needs to be.” — Bill Moore

VERDICT 

The Chevy Volt is a phenomenal car. It’s a truly American invention of which we all should be proud, even those of us who will never own one. But some politicians and pundits have hijacked it for partisan objectives and smeared it with misinformation. Read The Truth About Electric Car Safety and 2012 Green Car Buyer's Guide, Chevrolet to get the facts. Then test drive a Volt to experience it for yourself.


Toyota Prius C

(gas-electric hybrid; subcompact hatchback)

Base Price: $19,710Toyota Prius C Black 

Gas Mileage: 53 city, 46 hwy, 50 combined

Annual Fuel Cost: $1,150

Air Pollution Score: 7

Greenhouse Gas Score: 10

ACEEE Green Score: 56

PROS 

Best Green Cars Pros Has the highest-rated city mpg for any car without a plug.

Best Green Cars Pros Nimble and far more fun to drive than its older, bigger brother. 
 
Best Green Cars Pros EV Mode with capability to drive up to 25 mph on electric alone.

Best Green Cars Pros Should have lower maintenance costs over time because AC and water pump are now electrically driven (drive belts eliminated).

Best Green Cars Pros Second most-affordable hybrid available: Costs $600 more than the Honda Insight, but the Prius C is rated with 12 better city mpg, 2 better highway mpg and 8 better combined mpg than the Insight.

Best Green Cars Pros Among many information options, the onboard computer tells you how much money you’re saving on gas versus your other/former car.

Best Green Cars Pros Comes standard with nine air bags.

Best Green Cars Pros Interior space is as good if not better than that of its competition.

CONS 

Best Green Cars Cons Certainly capable of highway speeds, but the C isn’t the best choice for regular freeway driving.

Best Green Cars Cons Wouldn’t you think a Prius this small would get even better mpg?

Best Green Cars Cons No cruise control in the least expensive trim line. Upgrading to the next level adds about $1,000 to its cost.

Best Green Cars Cons No ninja sneaking: makes a soft, whirring noise when in EV Mode to alert pedestrians, including the blind and bicyclists. Jokes aside, while this is a bummer for some EV purists, it is a good change.

EXPERTS SAY 

“Toyota is reaching out to a new demographic with the C model, and my first impression is that they could have another green hit on their hands. There are young people who value efficiency over sportiness, right?” — Sebastian Blanco

“The Prius C is the new fuel economy leader in the under-$20,000 hybrid market, but I expected it to beat, not just meet, its older, bigger and heavier Prius sibling in mpg.” — David Friedman

“The Prius C is the epitome of fuel efficiency and affordability. In a 59-mile highway test, I got 85.6 mpg (using hypermiling techniques).” — Wayne Gerdes

VERDICT 

Small but solid — the Prius C has the agility and mpg of a small car, but feels remarkably well built. It puts the Smart car to shame. The C’s design inspires smiles, even for those who dislike the Prius look. But the “C” definitely stands for city: It’s not ideal for high-speed commuting.


Toyota Prius V

(gasoline-electric hybrid; wagon)

Base Price: $27,160Toyota-Prius-V 

Gas Mileage: 44 city, 40 hwy, 42 combined

Annual Fuel Cost: $1,350

Air Pollution Score: 7

Greenhouse Gas Score: 9

ACEEE Green Score: 51

PROS 

Best Green Cars Pros Massive amounts of passenger and cargo room — 58 percent more cargo space than in the regular Prius.

Best Green Cars Pros Rear seats can slide forward or back, recline backward, or fold flat forward. With the rear seats flat, the V has 67.3 cubic feet of cargo space, which is more than many small SUVs have and is the equivalent of 98 paper grocery bags.

Best Green Cars Pros The Prius V is the closest option yet in the United States to a hybrid minivan, yet its looks belie its size. It’s barely distinguishable from the regular Prius and definitely doesn’t scream “family cruiser.”

Best Green Cars Pros Take your sweetie or even the whole family stargazing in style: Optional panoramic moonroof gives front and back passengers a great view of the sky.

CONS 

Best Green Cars Cons Sluggish performance, even in Power Mode. If you don’t care for the amount of get-up in the regular Prius, you’ll be even less happy when driving the V onto highways.

Best Green Cars Cons It’s big, but why not a little bigger? Overseas versions of the V have third-row seating, but that’s not an option in the United States.

Best Green Cars Cons Display screen (which shows mph, real-time mpg, etc.) is in the center of the dashboard rather than in front of the driver. This is one of the more notorious gripes from Prius owners.

Best Green Cars Cons Still uses older and heavier nickel-metal hydride batteries rather than newer, lighter and more powerful lithium-ion batteries.

EXPERTS SAY 

“The biggest surprise about the Prius V is that Toyota didn’t start making it years ago. It’s a more practical version of the regular Prius that still offers great fuel economy.” — Sebastian Blanco

“The most versatile family-oriented fuel miser in America. From the rear seats, whether crossing town or the country, I will take the Prius V over anything else currently available.” — Wayne Gerdes

“The Prius V is significantly cleaner than all other wagons, SUVs and crossovers on the market today.” — Shruti Vaidyanathan

VERDICT 

The “V” stands for versatile, which this hybrid certainly is in terms of hauling people and/or cargo. Imagine how much lumber you could fit in the trunk with the rear seats down. But if you don’t regularly need this much space, opt for the less expensive and higher-mpg Prius.


Nissan Leaf

(all-electric; compact hatchback)

Base Price: $36,050 for SV trim; $28,550 after federal tax creditNissan-Leaf-White-Cropped 

Gas Mileage Equivalent: 106 city, 92 hwy, 99 combined

Annual Fuel Cost: $600

Air Pollution Score: 10

Greenhouse Gas Score: 10

ACEEE Green Score: 55

Electric Range: 62 to 138 miles

Recharge Time: 7 hours on 240 volts; 20 hours on 120 volts

PROS 

Best Green Cars Pros No more gas! Its electric range covers average daily driving needs.

Best Green Cars Pros Average cost for a full recharge: $2.88.

Best Green Cars Pros Maintenance costs versus a comparable gas car are $1,800 less over five years, according to Edmunds.com’s True Cost to Own.

Best Green Cars Pros Federal tax credit of $7,500. Several states offer additional tax credits, rebates and other incentives; some are worth thousands more in savings. Visit to Nissan’s website to look up offers in your state.

Best Green Cars Pros Now available in all 50 states; will be built in TN starting late 2012.

Best Green Cars Pros Warranty on the lithium-ion batteries: eight years/100,000 miles.

Best Green Cars Pros Nissan has a partnership with SunPower to help Leaf owners weigh options for recharging via solar panels.

CONS 

Best Green Cars Cons Sticker price of $36,050; $28,550 after the federal tax credit.

Best Green Cars Cons Impractical full recharge time on standard household outlet. Cost for faster 240-volt home charging setup can be up to $2,000.

Best Green Cars Cons One of the range meters adjusts on the fly per driving style and use of climate controls, which can lead to big swings in the numbers and cause confusion. Some Leaf owners call it the “guess-o-meter.”

Best Green Cars Cons Cold weather and use of the heater can significantly reduce range (see Electric Car Range in Cold Weather). The 2013 Leaf will have a new heater that will improve range in cold weather by 20 to 25 miles.

EXPERTS SAY 

“Nissan is winning the pure electric vehicle race for a reason: They were first and they’re going to be tough to beat.” — Sebastian Blanco

“Both sticker price and charging infrastructure have a ways to go before electric cars will become viable options for the average driver.” — Shruti Vaidyanathan

“While it lacks the sexy appeal of GM’s EV1 from a decade ago, the Leaf more than makes up for it in practicality.” — Bill Moore

“If this is Nissan’s first electric offering to the masses, imagine how good its second and third generations will be.” — Wayne Gerdes

VERDICT 

The Leaf is the most successful all-electric car ever. But strong competition is coming — such as the Ford Focus Electric, Honda Fit EV and Tesla Model S — which might mean the Leaf will get even better. 


Volkswagen Passat TDI

(diesel; sedan)

Base Price: $27,895Passat-400-Cropped 

Gas Mileage: 30 city, 40 hwy, 34 combined

Annual Fuel Cost: $1,800

Air Pollution Score: 5

Greenhouse Gas Score: 7

ACEEE Green Score: 48

PROS 

Best Green Cars Pros The most fuel-efficient non-hybrid family sedan available. Excellent highway fuel economy. Cruise for nearly 800 miles before refueling.

Best Green Cars Pros Comfortable for family road trips. Roomy back seat. Large trunk.

Best Green Cars Pros Engineered in Germany with the American driver in mind. Built in Chattanooga, Tenn., at the world’s most eco-friendly auto facility.

Best Green Cars Pros Named 2012 Car of the Year by Motor Trend, which described the Passat TDI as “a green car without the compromises the mainstream green vehicles impose — a true technological achievement.”

Best Green Cars Pros Given diesel durability (200,000 miles or much more; see The Longevity of Diesel Engines), you may want to bequeath this car in your will. 

CONS 

Best Green Cars Cons Diesel costs about 15 to 30 cents more per gallon than regular gas. The DOE projects that diesel will average $4.15 in 2012.

Best Green Cars Cons The Passat’s price is comparable to that of hybrid cars, yet its fuel economy rating is the same or worse.

Best Green Cars Cons Might be hard to find given its high demand and Volkswagen’s low number of dealerships (compared with other major automakers).

EXPERTS SAY 

“If I were a highway warrior, this would be my vehicle. It’s a quiet, comfortable and fuel-efficient sedan, made in America at the world’s only LEED Platinum auto manufacturing facility.” — Wayne Gerdes

“While ‘clean’ diesel vehicles haven’t taken off in the United States like they have in Europe, their environmental benefits are clear: better fuel economy and reduced emissions.” — Shruti Vaidyanathan

“The Passat TDI is a solid, cleaner family car choice compared to its gasoline counterparts. But the current hybrid family cars remain superior choices when it comes to environmental benefits and relief at the pump.” — David Friedman

“The Passat is one reason why diesels are making a slow and steady comeback in the United States. If you do a lot of highway miles, you might be pleasantly surprised with an oil-burner. They don’t make them like they used to.” — Sebastian Blanco

VERDICT 

Finally, clean diesel comes to the family sedan size class. The Passat TDI is impressive, especially for its comfort (driving and riding) and highway mpg. Whether it or a hybrid is best for you may be as simple as which drive style you prefer and how long you intend to own the car.


Mitsubishi i

(electric; compact hatchback)

Base Price: $29,975 for ES trim; $22,475 after federal tax creditMitsubishi-400-Cropped 

Gas Mileage Equivalent: 126 city, 99 hwy, 112 combined

Annual Fuel Cost: $550

Air Pollution Score: 10

Greenhouse Gas Score: 10

ACEEE Green Score: 58

Electric Range: 62 miles

Recharge Time: 7 hours on 240 volts; 22.5 hours on 120 volts

PROS 

Best Green Cars Pros Never needs gas! Average cost for a full “tank” of energy: $1.92.

Best Green Cars Pros Most affordable of the electric cars currently available.

Best Green Cars Pros The No. 1 greenest car for 2012, according to ACEEE.

Best Green Cars Pros Federal tax credit of $7,500. Several states also offer tax credits or rebates; some are worth thousands more in savings.

Best Green Cars Pros Zippy and nimble. Trips to the market have never been more fun.

Best Green Cars Pros Interior is simple yet comfortable. Tall passengers will be comfortable given high roofline. 

Best Green Cars Pros Great option for urbanities who live and work in the same city, or as a second car devoted to errands and other short trips.

Best Green Cars Pros Futuristic design you’ll either love or loathe.

CONS 

Best Green Cars Cons Real-world range is significantly less than that of the Leaf, depending on your driving style and conditions. Top speed of 81 mph.

Best Green Cars Cons Recharges on a standard household outlet barely faster (22.5 hours) than it takes the Earth to rotate around the sun.

Best Green Cars Cons Nationwide availability isn’t until summer 2012. Currently available on the West Coast and in several northeastern states.

EXPERTS SAY 

“Even taking into account the emissions generated from the electricity used to power the Mitsubishi i, using an average U.S. grid mix, the i still handily outpaces today’s other vehicles in environmental terms.” — Shruti Vaidyanathan

“The Mitsubishi i leads the electric car pack in efficiency, cutting the cost of driving by about 75 percent compared with today’s average compact car.” — David Friedman

“Might be the most affordable electric urban car on the market. There are nearly as many units of the i on the roads of the world as there are units of the Nissan Leaf.” — Bill Moore

“I had more fun driving this car than I expected to. If you can handle the Spartan vibe, it’s a good EV for the money.” — Sebastian Blanco

VERDICT 

It’s much more than a golf cart, but a little less than the Nissan Leaf. Nevertheless, the i is notable because its mixture of utility and affordability might entice more people to plug in to electric cars.


Fun Lists! More Ways to Look at the 2012 Best Green Cars

Coolest Colors for the 2012 Best Green Cars 

Toyota Prius C: Habanero 

Colors-Toyota-Prius-C-Habenero  

Toyota Prius V: Blue Ribbon Metallic

Colors-Prius-V-Blue-Ribbon  

Chevrolet Volt: Crystal Red Tintcoat

Chevy-Volt-200-Cropped  

Volkswagen Passat TDI: Opera Red Metallic

Volkswagen-Passat-Cropped  

Nissan Leaf: Super Black

Colors-Nissan-Leaf-Super-Black  

Mitsubishi i: Raspberry

Mitsubishi-I-200-Cropped  

 


Best Green Cars Alumni  

  • Chevrolet Volt (2011)
  • Ford Fiesta (2011)
  • Ford Fusion Hybrid (2010)
  • Honda Civic Hybrid (2010)
  • Honda CR-Z (2011)
  • Honda Insight (2010)
  • Nissan Leaf (2011)
  • Toyota Prius (2010 and 2011)
  • Volkswagen Golf TDI (2010)
  • Volkswagen Jetta TDI (2010 and 2011)

Best Green Cars, 5-Year Total Cost of Ownership 
Study by Kelley Blue Book 

  • Chevrolet Volt: $40,629
  • Ford Escape Hybrid: $45,051
  • Honda Insight: $32,884
  • Kia Soul: $31,417
  • Nissan Versa: $29,252

Best Green Cars for Less Than $15K
(all with manual transmissions) 

  • Ford Fiesta: 33 mpg; $13,995
  • Hyundai Accent: 34 mpg; $13,320
  • Kia Rio: 34 mpg; $14,150
  • Kia Soul: 30 mpg; $14,650
  • Nissan Versa: 30 mpg; $11,770
  • Smart ForTwo: 36 mpg; $13,980
  • Toyota Yaris: 33 mpg; $14,875

Early Candidates for 2013 Best Green Cars 

  • Ford Focus Electric: 100-mile range
  • Ford Fusion Hybrid: 47 city mpg
  • Honda Fit EV: 123-mile city range
  • Anything Mazda with Skyactiv technology  
  • Tesla Model S: trims with 160, 230 or 300 miles of range

Wish-You-Got-Better-MPG Best Green Cars 

  • Chevrolet Sonic: 31 mpg
  • Ford Fiesta: 33 mpg
  • Honda Civic: 32 mpg
  • Mazda 2: 30 mpg
  • Nissan Versa: 33 mpg
  • Toyota Yaris: 32 mpg

Best Green Cars With Manual Transmission Option 

  • Honda CR-Z: 34 mpg
  • Volkswagen Golf TDI: 34 mpg
  • Volkswagen Jetta TDI: 34 mpg
  • Volkswagen Passat TDI: 35 mpg

Best Green Cars If You Win the Lottery 

Tesla Roadster: about $100,000 (try eBay)  

Tesla-Roadster-Cropped 

Lexus LS 600h: $114,000

Lexus-Cropped 

Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid: $93,000

Mercedes-Cropped 

More Green Cars

Best Green Cars, 2011
Best Green Cars, 2010 


John Rockhold is a green car enthusiast and Contributing Editor for MOTHER EARTH NEWS. Find him on .





Post a comment below.

 

calebsmum
3/8/2014 12:11:07 AM
It appears that your only criteria for a car being green is it's gas mileage. What about the toxins produced during manufacturing, as well as the toxins emitted inside the car, with families all snuggled up together? The toxic air being emitted inside the car is just as important, if not more, as whats being emitted into the air we breathe outside.

Carla Heard
4/19/2013 2:30:19 PM
Dear Ronald, My name is Carla Heard I live in Gulfport, Mississippi and I drive a 2000 Jeep Cherokee Limited which I have driven for over 200,000 miles! I'm in the market for a new car and came across the FORD C-MAX. Test drived it a few miles, liked it very much but didn't purchase it. The published EPA estimates really excited me but after reading your open letter, I'm still shopping around. I want a eco friendly hybrid car that is safe, with all the creature comforts, bells and whistles, and roominess for my stuff. Should I look elsewhere (the Toyota Prius V or the Honda Insight maybe)?

Ronald Kramer
3/11/2013 8:43:48 PM
Open letter to Ford: I thought my 2013 C-MAX would be a Prius Killer? NOT! As a returning Ford buyer I feel deceived. I want to support US companies and US jobs. What was Ford thinking when they published 47/ 47/47 estimates? Based on the advertised EPA estimates, I would have been ok with low 40's but 28-33 mpg is not even in the ballpark. This is not an issue about EPA testing standards, but rather an issue about setting false customer expectations in order to promote sales. Ford's "47MPG" marketing campaign tarnished what should have been the roll out of a truly remarkable vehicle, the CMAX. Real world MPG estimates should have been promoted in the mid-30's. No one would have questioned those numbers and the CMAX would have received the accolades it deserves. How these MPG estimates made it through Ford corporate is beyond me! Maybe it was the rush to go to market? I have been accused of not knowing how to drive hybrid. For the record, during the last three years I have leased both a 2010 Prius and 2010 Honda Insight Hybrid, and consider myself an experienced hyper-miler. My mileage in the Prius is 50 plus, the Insight is 40 plus. The C-MAX is a well-built car, with extremely inflated EPA estimates. I respectfully request that this matter be investigated as soon as possible. My efforts to deal with this locally and through Ford customer service have frustrated me to no end. The constant response? "You need to learn to how to drive hybrid type of vehicle ". Is there a difference how I drive Prius Hybrid vs. the CMAX hybrid? I think we all know the answer to that. I need someone at Ford to reach out to me and assist in a proactive manner so we can put this matter to rest. Ronald Kramer Yankee Ford Customer South Portland, Maine

Rudeislastplace
2/26/2013 8:15:57 PM
LOl both of my cars made the coolest color list. The Prius V and the volt...

joe emami
1/7/2013 10:34:30 PM
I agree John. Most people think electric or hybrid cars are green but they are not. Battery acid is very bad pollutant. As of now the only green cars are diesel. VW, Mercedes, Audi and BMW offer diesel cars with better gas mileage than hybrids with zero emission. Diesel engines last for a long time and gas mileage is much better than hybrids. I have an 05 E-320 and I get an average of 38 miles per gallon. This is a 6 cylinder car with lots of power. I can even pull 1500 lbs. Hybrids are 4 cylinder with lots of moving parts to produce electricity. You can find used Mercedes diesels for about 12 to 20K depending on the age. Without a doubt you can drive over 500000 miles or more depending on maintenance. I can swear on this car or other ones I mentioned. Check them out.

Doug Echols
1/4/2013 8:07:43 PM
Prius batteries are usually not replaced en masse or all at once but in incremental parts or cells. about the size of a cigarette pack they are relatively inexpensive. My 9 yr old Prius has 160,000 + miles and not a single battery issue.

vanillapudding
1/4/2013 3:52:09 PM
Prius batteries run about $2,200- 2,500 depending on your part of the country.

JOHN LANDL
12/11/2012 3:52:58 PM
I see no mention of the $8,000 replacement cost when the Prius battery dies...

John Rockhold
7/31/2012 7:55:47 PM
Testing

Ernie Peters
6/8/2012 6:33:32 PM
I have an issue with the Green house gas score. Yes it's for a new vehicle but if you ran your old already manufactured vehicle for another 5 years (certainly doable with today's vehicular longevity) then the green house gas score would defiantly be in favor of a used vehicle. The green house gas score to be accurate should really include the emissions created during manufacture.





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