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energy-efficient car, hybrid car, earth-friendly car• Even though the U.S. only has about 3 percent of the world's oil reserves, we consume 25 percent of the petroleum that's produced worldwide. We use two-thirds of that for transportation.
• Our "addiction to oil" is expensive. Petroleum imports cost the U.S. about $2 billion a week.
• Burning gasoline creates a whole host of environmental problems, from air pollution and smog to global warming and climate change.
• Drilling and transporting oil destroys wilderness and wildlife areas; refining petroleum generates toxic substances and can create hazardous waste sites.
• Driving a fuel efficient car helps protect air, water and wildlife. It strengthens national security and improves the quality of our lives overall.

For Your Shopping List


Most fuel-efficient vehicle: Toyota Prius Hybrid 51 mpg city/48/hwy

Most fuel-efficient minivan: Mazda 5 22/28 mpg

Most fuel-efficient large car: Hyundai Sonata 24/34 mpg

More comparisons here


Before you buy a new or used car, check with the U.S. EPA. You can compare the fuel economy leaders of the vehicles you're interested in and check on the most fuel efficient vehicles available. For a shortcut, read the summary of EPA’s 2009 most fuel efficient vehicles developed by

The federal government has developed a Fuel Cost Calculator to help you anticipate annual fuel costs, as well as compare gas and money savings between vehicles. It makes clear how much gas and money you can save simply by driving a more fuel-efficient vehicle.

energy efficient vehicle, hybrid vehicleConsider a hybrid. Advantages?

* Combine a smaller gasoline engine with a battery-powered electric motor, so double the mileage of conventional cars

* Burn little fuel as you slow down; can come to a complete stop when waiting in traffic

* Recharge the batteries every time you hit the brakes

* No need to plug into an electrical socket; use the same gasoline other cars do, though less of it.


This EPA website compares the fuel-efficiency and environmental impact of the various hybrid cars, trucks and SUVs currently available.

If you already drive a vehicle that runs on diesel, you can convert it to BIOdiesel by combining diesel fuel with vegetable oil - or even use vegetable oil alone.

Electric Vehicles?

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, enough excess generating capacity exists at night in the U.S. to charge 180 million electric vehicles (EVs) without adding any new capacity. Electric vehicles like the Chevy Volt won't be on the market until 2010, but we do have other options:

* Convert your existing hybrid to a "plug-in."

* Try an electric scooter.

* Ride an electric bicycle.

* Consider an electric moped.


Letter to Car Companies

Despite their increasing use of recycled materials and the growing number of hybrids in their designs, auto manufacturers continue to oppose adequate increases in fuel-efficiency stands while encouraging consumers to buy gas-guzzlers like SUVs. In addition to buying a fuel-efficient vehicle, send car companies a message by contacting automotive CEOs. The list of names and addresses is in our Big Green Purse book. Here's a sample letter:

Dear (Name of CEO),

Reducing America's dependence on petroleum is critical to our national security. Using less oil is also critical if we hope to reverse the climate change related to burning fossil fuels. While I am encouraged that (NAME OF COMPANY) is developing some energy-saving hybrid cars and trucks, (NAME OF COMPANY) could do far more to protect our country and the environment by pledging to manufacture only highly-efficient vehicles (those that get more than 30 mpg) in every class. I also encourage you to pursue the transition to electric vehicles as quickly as possible. Our future, and the future of the planet, depend on it.

Thank you.

Your Name and Address



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