Drive a Fuel-Efficient Car, Reduce Air Pollution

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MATTHEW T. STALLBAUMER
If Batman drove a fuel-efficient car, this would be it ? the Toyota Prius, a gasoline/electric hybrid. The Prius is among the most fuel-efficient and least-polluting vehicles available.

Almost a third of the air pollution in the United States comes from
passenger vehicles. Choosing a greener car can help reduce air
pollution and save you money at the gas pump.

Tailpipe emissions, such as nitrogen oxides, volatile organic
hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and particulate matter, are
byproducts of engines’ combustion process and the evaporation of
fuel. They create smog and acid rain, and are damaging to both
natural ecosystems and human health. High levels of air pollutants
? especially particulate matter ? are a serious health risk for
those with respiratory problems or heart disease, which is why the
EPA closely monitors and reports on
local air-quality
conditions
.

To help you easily judge a car’s emissions, the EPA provides air
pollution scores for specific models, with zero signaling the most
pollution and 10 the least. Each score reflects a set of limits for
tailpipe emissions. When kept properly maintained, the vehicle will
emit no more than those limits. The following 2005 models had the
least amount of tailpipe emissions: the Toyota Prius, Ford Escape
Hybrid, Saturn Ion, Honda Accord Hybrid and Nissan Sentra. To view
more scores for the most fuel-efficient vehicles from model years
2000 to 2005, check out the October/November 2005 issue of
Mother Earth News. For more information, visit the

Alternative Transportation Page
.