New Edition of ACEEE's Green Book® Helps Consumers Find Eco-Friendly Cars and Trucks of Model Year 2002

February 5, 2002

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) today released the fifth edition of its groundbreaking consumer guide, ACEEE's Green Book®: The Environmental Guide to Cars & Trucks-Model Year 2002.

Recognized as the preeminent guide to environmentally friendly automobiles, ACEEE's Green Book® provides comprehensive information on the environmental performance of all model year 2002 cars and trucks. "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," stated co-author James Kliesch, a Research Associate in ACEEE's Transportation Program. "This allows car buyers to compare vehicles not only alongside their peers, but across vehicle classes as well."

ACEEE's Green Book® identifies the year's 12 "greenest" and 12 "meanest" vehicles, and examines how recent automotive trends are affecting the environment. "Consumers have planet-friendly options throughout the market, including trucks and SUVs," noted John DeCicco, Green Book creator and Senior Fellow at Environmental Defense. "Gasoline engines are steadily improving. In fact, 10 of the 12 'Greenest Vehicles of 2002' are gasoline powered, including the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight gasoline-electric hybrid cars."

Highlights of the new edition include:

  • Details about today's gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles, and a preview of those coming to market in the near future.
  • 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.
  • 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," stated Kliesch.

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.

"Issues of economic and energy security are now higher on the national agenda," remarked Steven Nadel, Executive Director of ACEEE, "and choosing fuel-efficient vehicles will reduce our dependence on oil. If new car and light truck buyers decided to buy the most efficient vehicles in each size class, the new fleet would cut its oil use by more than 20 percent."

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

Beginning February 5, ACEEE's Green Book®: The Environmental Guide to Cars & Trucks-Model Year 2002 will be distributed nationwide. Hard copies of the book can be ordered for $8.95 (plus shipping and handling) direct from ACEEE publications or GreenerCars.com, or purchased at major retail booksellers. Trade book distributor inquires should be directed to Chelsea Green Publishing at 1-800-639-4099. Bulk sales discounts are also available. Review copies are available to journalists covering energy, environment, and automobiles.