This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

February 23, 2005

First Hybrid SUV Makes List of Top Twelve Green Vehicles

The world's first hybrid-electric sport utility vehicle (SUV), the Ford Escape Hybrid, is also the first gasoline-powered SUV to make the list of 12 "greenest" vehicles. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) issued its eighth annual environmental guide to cars and trucks, "ACEEE's Green Book Online," in mid-February, including its list of the greenest vehicles of 2005. The Honda Insight, Toyota Prius, and Honda Civic Hybrid again hold top spots on the list, although the number one green vehicle is still the natural-gas-powered Honda Civic GX. But your car doesn't have to be a hybrid or alternative-fuel model to make the list: other top green cars include the Toyota Corolla and Echo; the Toyota Matrix and its twin, the Pontiac Vibe; the Nissan Sentra; the Mazda 3; and the Ford Focus and Ford Focus Wagon. ACEEE ranks vehicles based on their levels of noxious emissions, fuel economy, and greenhouse gas emissions. See the ACEEE press release and list of the top twelve greenest vehicles.

Photo of the Hyundai Portico.

Hyundai's Portico concept vehicle is designed to accept a hybrid drive.
Credit: Hyundai

Hyundai may be the next car company to join the ranks of hybrid vehicle producers: at the Chicago Car Show in early February, the company unveiled its "Portico" concept vehicle, a six-seat vehicle that it bills as "designed to accept Hyundai's hybrid drive system." The hybrid Portico would feature two electric motors: a 100-kilowatt motor driving the front wheels and a 60-kilowatt motor driving the rear wheels, providing efficient all-wheel-drive capability. According to Hyundai, a lithium-ion battery would power the motors. See the Hyundai press release.