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CONSUMER INFORMATION RANKING CLEANEST CARS AVAILABLE FOR FIRST TIME FROM EPA

Release Date: 10/19/2000
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FOR RELEASE: THURSDAY, OCT. 19, 2000

CONSUMER INFORMATION RANKING CLEANEST CARS
AVAILABLE FOR FIRST TIME FROM EPA


Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency made public for the first time ever data that rank all new-model cars on the basis of their tailpipe emissions. The rankings are the pollution equivalent to the gas mileage ratings that EPA issues annually.

“Each year the health of millions of Americans, particularly children, is jeopardized by air pollution. Today, I am pleased to be able to arm consumers with information that, for the first time, compares levels of air pollution from new cars,” said EPA Administrator Carol M. Browner. “Millions of Americans daily try to help protect their health and their environment through wise consumer choices. This web site provides information that consumers will find useful to reduce harmful levels of air pollution in their communities. It is part of the Clinton-Gore Administration’s continuing commitment to expand the public’s right to know.”

Vehicles account for almost one-third of all smog causing pollution. Nationwide, the number of miles driven each year is up 140 percent since 1970 to 2.8 trillion. In addition, half of new vehicles sold today are sport utility vehicles, which currently are allowed to emit as much as three to five times the pollution as cars. Smog causes millions of cases of respiratory ailments and is responsible for triggering thousands of cases of childhood asthma every year.

EPA’s new Vehicle Emissions Guide web site is available at: http://www.epa.gov/autoemissions
The site lists pollution levels for all model year 2000 and 2001 passenger vehicles sold in the United States, including cars, station wagons, pickup trucks, minivans, vans and sport utility vehicles. An emissions rank from 0 to 10, with 10 being cleanest, is assigned to each vehicle representing its cleanliness when compared to all other vehicles and ranges. This comparative rank is based on the tailpipe emission standards of nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons, both of which contribute to the formation of smog. For convenient comparisons, the web site also shows how clean a vehicle is compared to similar vehicles in the same class.

The new web site helps consumers make more environmentally informed choices when purchasing a vehicle. Consumers can select a vehicle model, determine how clean it is relative to other vehicles, comparison shop for similar vehicles, and choose the cleanest vehicle that meets their needs.

The web site includes emission information about more than 2000 individual vehicles for model years 2000 and 2001. For the 2001 model year, only three cars are rated a 10, the cleanest possible. Certain versions, but not all, of the Nissan Sentra, Toyota Prius and Honda Accord models earned a 10 ranking. These versions meet California tailpipe emission standards and are only available for purchase in California and some Northeast states. Designations of 8 and 9 rankings are reserved for vehicles that meet new standards established by the Clinton-Gore Administration last year.

Under the Clinton-Gore Administration’s new rules for putting the cleanest cars in history on the road, pick-up trucks, minivans and sport utility vehicles will be 77 to 95 percent cleaner beginning in 2004 than those on the road today and will have to meet the same tailpipe emission standards as passenger cars. Manufacturers can opt to have these cleaner vehicles on the market earlier than required, beginning with the 2001 model year.

Fuel economy is another important environmental factor to consider when buying a vehicle because burning fuel adds greenhouse gases to the atmosphere that lead to global warming. To make a more informed choice about both emissions and fuel economy, the information included in the Vehicle Emissions Guide web site can be used in coordination with the annual EPA/Department of Energy Fuel Economy Guide
(http://www.fueleconomy.gov) . It allows users to compare fuel economy, greenhouse gas emissions, and estimated annual fuel costs across models.

Building upon the opportunities provided to consumers in the Vehicle Emissions Guide Web Site, EPA is developing a voluntary program that will make it even easier for the public to identify and buy vehicles with the least environmental impact. This program will recognize the “best in class” vehicles, based on both fuel economy and emissions, and will reward continuous improvement in these areas over time.

For more information about vehicle emission standards or the new web site, you can contact the Office of Transportation and Air Quality at 734-214-4488.



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Cleanest Model Year 2001 Vehicles

Model Name Overall Emission Rank

Small Car
NISSAN Sentra 10
TOYOTA Prius 10

Midsize Car
HONDA Accord 10

Large Car
BUICK LeSabre 7
BUICK Park Avenue 7
CHEVROLET Impala 7
LEXUS LS 430 7
MERCEDES-BENZ S500 7
PONTIAC Bonneville 7

Station Wagon
FORD Focus* 7
MERCEDES-BENZ E320 7
SATURN LW200 7
VOLKSWAGEN Passat 7
VOLVO V70 7

Small SUV
CHEVROLET Tracker* 6
CHRYSLER PT Cruiser 6
FORD Escape 6
JEEP Cherokee 6
KIA Sportage 6
SUBARU Forester 6
SUZUKI Vitara* 6
TOYOTA RAV4 6


Medium SUV
ACURA MDX 5
JEEP Grand Cherokee 5


Cleanest Model Year 2001 Vehicles

Model Name Overall Emission Rank

Large SUV
BMW X5 4
DODGE Durango* 4
MERCEDES-BENZ ML320 4

Largest SUV
CHEVROLET 1500 Suburban 3
GMC 1500 Yukon 3
TOYOTA Sequoia 3

Small Pickup
CHEVROLET S10 Pickup* 6
FORD Ranger* 6
GMC Sonoma* 6
ISUZU Hombre* 6
MAZDA B2500 6
MAZDA B3000 6
NISSAN Frontier 6
TOYOTA Tacoma* 6

Medium Pickup
CHEVROLET S10 Pickup* 4
DODGE Dakota* 4
FORD Explorer Sport Trac 4
FORD F150 4
FORD Ranger* 4
GMC Sonoma* 4
ISUZU Hombre* 4
MAZDA B3000 4
MAZDA B4000 4
NISSAN Frontier* 4
TOYOTA Tacoma* 4
TOYOTA Tundra 4

Cleanest Model Year 2001 Vehicles

Model Name Overall Emission Rank

Large Pickup
CHEVROLET 1500 Silverado* 3
DODGE Ram Pickup1500 3

FORD F150* 3
GMC 1500 Sierra* 3
TOYOTA Tundra 3
FORD F150 CNG 5

Medium Minivan
CHEVROLET Venture 5
FORD Windstar 5
OLDSMOBILE Silhouette 5
PONTIAC Montana FWD 5

Medium Van
CHEVROLET Astro* 4
GMC Safari* 4

Large Van
CHEVROLET Astro 4
DODGE Ram Van 1500 4
GMC Safari 4

Largest Van
DODGE Ram Van 2500* 5
DODGE Ram Van 3500* 5
FORD E250 Econoline 5
FORD E350 (CNG) 5




*Multiple versions of this model are available with the same overall emissions rank. Visit the Vehicle Emissions Guide at: www.epa.gov/autoemissions for details.
Note: The website includes vehicles that have been certified to date; more vehicles will be added as they are certified.

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