Clockwise from top left: Nissan Leaf: A couple of years ago, Project Better
© 2010 GEnEr Al mO TOrS llC. USED WITH PErmISSIOn, Gm mEDIA ArCHIvE
Place launched plans to install EV-recharging infrastructure in markets with
high gas prices and short commutes: Israel first, then Denmark, Portugal,
Hawaii and the San Francisco Bay Area. Nissan/Renault contracted to build
the car for these markets, and here it is — a mainstream compact family
sedan with a great big battery.
engine. Driven by an adult, the most frugal version got 41 mpg city/50 mpg
highway. Following the success of the Honda Insight hybrid last year, the
factory dropped a sporty CR body onto a souped-up Insight drive train to
produce what may become the coolest car a kid could have in the ‘10s.
Audi A3 TDI: Sharing a 2-liter turbocharged 140-hp engine with the Volkswagen TDI models, Audi’s small front-wheel-drive diesel sedan is even
more efficient thanks to a slightly more slippery body style. Is it worth
$8,000 more than a Jetta TDI? Drive it to find out.
Chevy Aveo: Built by Daewoo in Korea, the Aveo is GM’s entry-level sedan.
It’s well-made and nimble enough in traffic, and the 10-year cost-to-own is
almost unbeatable for a new four-door.
Honda CR-Z: The coolest car a kid could have in the ‘80s was the tiny Honda
CR-X hatchback, basically a slick little two-seater with a screaming 1.5-liter
Mitsubishi i-MiEV: Derived from an existing “city car” with a 660-cc engine,
the egg-shaped i-MiEV is designed for quick handling in heavy traffic. It’s
said to offer plenty of headroom so four adults can be comfortable on short
trips, and the electric motor produces as much power as the turbocharged
engine in the original car. Shown: the delivery van version.
Copyright © 2010 by the American Solar Energy Society Inc. All rights reserved.
one. Buying a fuel-efficient used car is often the
more cost-effective way both to save money and
to reduce the household’s carbon footprint.
How to read the chart: Cars are arranged
on the chart by motor type, and then in order of
their estimated cost to buy and operate.
Curb weight reflects the car’s general heft, in
pounds. It’s what the car weighs with a full tank
of gas but no passengers or luggage.
MPG is miles per gallon, according to tests
conducted by the EPA. The EPA gives mileage
for city driving, highway driving and combined;
we’ve shown the city and highway figures. If you
do mostly stop-and-go driving — neighborhood
errands, deliveries or taxi-cab driving, for instance
— the city number is more relevant. To convert
MPG to kilometers per liter, multiply by 0.425.
Price is the manufacturer’s suggested retail
price in U.S. dollars (for new cars) and approximate retail market value for used cars. Prices
do not include federal or state incentives for
low-emission vehicles, so after-tax pricing for
solartoday.org SOLAR TODA Y June 2010 41
electric vehicles (EVs) and some hybrids may
be significantly lower than shown here. The
federal tax credit for zero-emission vehicles is
Seats means number of seats, according to
the manufacturer. If you carpool or plan to transport whole soccer teams, this is an important
number. You might feel better about carbon
emissions if you calculate pounds of CO2 per
passenger-mile. We’ve done it for you, and the
column labeled “ 12,000-mile carbon per seat”