United States              Air and Radiation         EPA420-F-01-006
                    Environmental Protection                           February 2001
                    Agency

                    Office of Transportation and Air Quality
v>EPA       Resource
                    Information
                   Green Vehicle Guide
                   www.epa.gov/greenvehicles
                   The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Green Vehicle
                   Guide provides consumers with a simple tool to help them make
                   the link between vehicles and the environment during their vehicle
                   buying decisions. It provides one-stop shopping for consumers to
                   buy the cleanest, most efficient vehicle that meets their needs.


                   Background

                   Pollution from passenger cars and trucks (pickups, minivans, vans, and
                   sport utility vehicles) accounts for about one-third of all air pollution and
                   one-fifth of all carbon dioxide emissions, with some vehicles being much
                   cleaner and more efficient than others. Since vehicles differ in the
                   amount of emissions they produce, the choice car buyers make will affect
                   the quality of air we breathe and the amount of greenhouse gases we
                   create. So EPA has developed an online  "Green Vehicle Guide" to help
                   consumers make more environmentally-informed choices when purchas-
                   ing a vehicle.
                   Overview of the Guide

                   EPA's new Web site provides information about the emission levels and
                   fuel economy of 2001 model year cars and light trucks. Emission levels
                   for the 2000 model year are also available. Based on those characteris-
                   tics, the guide then rates how "green" each vehicle is both overall and
                   within its class. Future model years will be added to the guide as the data
                   become available.
                                                              i Printed on Recycled Paper

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Emissions/   The guide includes an emission rating system which gives a 0-10 score,
Air            with 10 being the best, based on how much air pollution each model
Pollution      produces based on the tailpipe emission standards the vehicle was certi-
               fied to meet. Vehicles with a higher score emit less smog-forming and
               lung-irritating pollution than vehicles with a lower score. The score can
               be used to compare the emissions of any vehicle to any other vehicle,
               across classes and model years.

Fuel           The Web site also includes information about fuel economy, the key
Economy/     indicator of a vehicle's contribution to greenhouse gases. The estimated
Global        miles per gallon a vehicle will use in city and highway driving are
Warming      provided. Vehicles with lower fuel economy create more carbon diox-
               ide—the most important human-made greenhouse gas—than vehicles
               with higher fuel economy. Every gallon of gasoline a vehicle burns puts
               20 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Green        Another feature of the Green Vehicle Guide is a 1 to 5-star rating system,
Vehicle       the Green Vehicle Class Rating, which rates vehicles within a class (e.g.,
Class         midsize car, minivan, small pickup) according to the combination of
Rating        emission and fuel economy performance. Vehicles with the highest rating
               of 5 stars will be the cleanest and most fuel efficient within that class.
               Top
               In 2001, ten vehicle models achieve the top 5-star rating. They are
               certain versions of the Honda Insight, Honda Civic HX, Toyota Prius,
               Honda Civic, Mazda 626, Honda Accord, Saturn LI00/200, Toyota
               Camry, Pontiac Aztek, and the Mercedes-Benz ML320. Over time, we
               expect many more models to move into the 5-star category.

               Vehicles rated the same number of stars are not necessarily equal in
               emission and fuel economy performance because the star rating is class-
               based. Thus, the star ratings cannot be used to compare vehicles from
               different classes. Even the lowest rated vehicles today are significantly
               cleaner than vehicles of 10 and 20 years ago.
               For
               For questions or comments about the Green Vehicle Guide, you can send
               an email message to: autoemissions@epa.gov.

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