Batteries Not Included - NADAguides.com Announces the Top Five Cleanest Conventional Gasoline Cars for Earth Day 2009


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COSTA MESA, Calif., April 3, 2009: This Earth Day, NADAguides.com, announces its Top Five Cleanest Conventional Cars of 2009, simply suggesting that hybrids aren't the only choice for those who wish to minimize the environmental impact of their driving.

NADAguides.com is a huge proponent of hybrid and alternative fuel technology, but given that the industry will be highlighting hybrids for Earth Day the company wanted to show that there are conventional vehicles that can help cut down on air pollution.

To provide consumers with an alternative to alternative fuel vehicles, the NADAguides.com Market Data Analysts evaluated fuel economy and emissions data and determined The Top Five Cleanest Conventional Cars of 2009

"It is no surprise that on Earth Day the automotive world will be focused on the latest and greatest hybrid vehicles, but the fact remains that consumers are still overwhelmingly buying and driving conventional gasoline cars," said Michael Caudill, spokesperson for NADAguides.com. "The Top Five Cleanest Conventional Cars show that consumers have options for vehicles that are easy on the environment without the higher price point of emerging hybrid technology."

Despite improvements in production efficiency and material costs, the prices of gas-electric hybrid vehicles remain considerably higher than those of their gasoline-only counterparts. The base price of the all-new 2010 Honda Insight, designed to rival the fuel economy of the Toyota Prius for about $2,000 less, is still expected to retail for nearly $2,000 more than the MINI Cooper, the most expensive car on the NADAguides.com top 5 list.

The Chevrolet Cobalt LS, Ford Focus S, Pontiac G5 and Hyundai Elantra GLS all qualify for PZEV (partial zero emissions vehicle) certification, while the MINI Cooper is designated as an ULEV (ultra low emissions vehicle). Several independent tests have shown that the exhaust coming from the tailpipe of a PZEV vehicle is often cleaner than the surrounding air in many metropolitan areas. In fact, four of the five cars on the list put out less air pollution than some hybrid vehicles.

NADAguides.com chose the Top Five Cleanest Conventional Cars based on a combination of scores from three criteria: Greenhouse gas emissions, smog-producing air pollution levels and combined miles per gallon.

Greenhouse gas emissions include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane gas (CH4), nitrous oxide (NO2) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and represent vehicle combustion by-products that contribute to global warming. Greenhouse gas emissions are expressed in tons per year based on 15,000 miles of average driving. These figures are directly proportional to the vehicle's fuel economy and type of fuel used.

Smog-forming air pollution includes nitrogen oxides (NOX), carbon monoxide (CO), various carbon-containing compounds (including hydrocarbons), formaldehyde (HCHO) and solid particulate matter. These compounds, which contribute to smog and other health problems, are measured in pounds emitted per year based on 15,000 miles of average driving.

Combined fuel economy is calculated from EPA city/highway miles per gallon figures, based on 55 percent city and 45 percent highway driving.

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