Sunday, January 29, 2006

"Gas-Saving" Products: Fact or Fuelishness? the truth about fuel additives

Gas prices are up, and so is the volume of advertising for "gas-saving" products. When gasoline prices rise, consumers often look for ways to improve fuel efficiency. Although there are practical steps you can take to increase gas mileage, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warns you to be wary of any gas-saving claims for automotive devices or oil and gas additives. Even for the few gas-saving products that have been found to work, the savings have been small.

"Gas-Saving" Advertising Claims
Be skeptical of the following kinds of advertising claims. "This gas-saving product improves fuel economy by 20 percent."Claims usually tout savings ranging from 12 to 25 percent. However, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has evaluated or tested more than 100 alleged gas-saving devices and has not found any product that significantly improves gas mileage. In fact, some "gas-saving" products may damage a car's engine or cause substantial increases in exhaust emissions.

The gas-saving products on the market fall into clearly defined categories. Although the EPA has not tested or evaluated every product, it has tried to examine at least one product in each category. See "Devices Tested by EPA" at the end of this brochure for category descriptions and product names.

"After installing your product on my car, I got an extra 4 miles [6.4 kilometers] per gallon [3.8 liters]."Many ads feature glowing testimonials by satisfied customers. Yet, few consumers have the ability or the equipment to test for precise changes in gas mileage after installing a gas-saving product. Many variables affect fuel consumption, including traffic, road and weather conditions, and the car's condition.

For example, one consumer sent a letter to a company praising its "gas-saving" product. At the time the product was installed, however, the consumer also had received a complete engine tune-up - a fact not mentioned in the letter. The entire increase in gas mileage attributed to the "gas-saving" product may well have been the result of the tune-up alone. But from the ad, other consumers could not have known that.

"This gas-saving device is approved by the Federal government."No government agency endorses gas-saving products for cars. The most that can be claimed in advertising is that the EPA has reached certain conclusions about possible gas savings by testing the product or by evaluating the manufacturer's own test data. If the seller claims that its product has been evaluated by the EPA, ask for a copy of the EPA report, or check for information.
In some instances, false claims of EPA testing or approval have been made.

Product Complaints and Refunds
If you're dissatisfied with a gas-saving product, contact the manufacturer and ask for a refund. Most companies offer money-back guarantees. Contact the company, even if the guarantee period has expired.

If you're not satisfied with the company's response, contact your local or state consumer protection agency or the Better Business Bureau.

Shifting Gears: Real Money-Saving Steps
There are numerous no- or low-cost steps you can take to combat rising gas prices. The most important place to start is at the gas pump; buy only the octane level gas you need. All gas pumps must post the octane rating of the gas under the FTC's Fuel Rating Rule. Remember, the higher the octane, the higher the price. Check your owner's manual to determine the right octane level for your car.

  • Here are some additional tips from the EPA to help you get better gas mileage.
  • Drive more efficiently
  • Stay within posted speed limits. The faster you drive, the more fuel you use. For example, driving at 65 miles per hour (mph), rather than 55 mph, increases fuel consumption by 20 percent. Driving at 75 mph, rather than 65 mph, increases fuel consumption by another 25 percent.
  • Use overdrive gears. Overdrive gears improve the fuel economy of your car during highway driving. Your car's engine speed decreases when you use overdrive. This reduces both fuel consumption and engine wear.
  • Use cruise control. Using cruise control on highway trips can help you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, reduce your fuel consumption.
  • Anticipate driving situations. If you anticipate traffic conditions and don't tailgate, you can avoid unnecessary braking and acceleration, and improve your fuel economy by 5 to 10 percent. In city driving, nearly 50 percent of the energy needed to power your car goes to acceleration. Go easy on the gas pedal and brakes. "Jack-rabbit" starts and sudden stops are wasteful.
  • Avoid unnecessary idling. Turn off the engine if you anticipate a lengthy wait. No matter how efficient your car is, unnecessary idling wastes fuel, costs you money and pollutes the air.
  • Combine errands. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as one trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm.
    Remove excess weight from the trunk. Avoid carrying unneeded items, especially heavy ones. An extra 100 pounds in the trunk reduces a typical car's fuel economy by one to two percent.
  • Maintain your car
  • Keep your engine tuned. Studies have shown that a poorly tuned engine can increase fuel consumption by as much as 10 to 20 percent depending on a car's condition. Follow the recommended maintenance schedule in your owner's manual; you'll save fuel and your car will run better and last longer.
  • Keep your tires properly inflated and aligned. Car manufacturers must place a label in the car stating the correct tire pressure. The label usually is on the edge of the door or door jamb, in the glove box, or on the inside of the gas cap cover. If the label lists a psi (pounds per square inch) range, use the higher number to maximize your fuel efficiency.
  • Underinflated tires cause fuel consumption to increase by six percent.
  • Change your oil. Clean oil reduces wear caused by friction between moving parts and removes harmful substances from the engine. Change your oil as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.
  • Check and replace air filters regularly. Your car's air filter keeps impurities in the air from damaging internal engine components. Not only will replacing a dirty air filter improve your fuel economy, it also will protect your engine. Clogged filters can cause up to a 10 percent increase in fuel consumption.
  • Consider buying a fuel efficient vehicleDeciding which vehicle to buy may be the most important fuel economy decision you make. The difference between a car that gets 20 MPG (miles per gallon) and one that gets 30 MPG amounts to $1,500 over 5 years, assuming gas costs $1.50 per gallon and you drive 15,000 miles a year.

Visit for more information. You'll find gas mileage estimates and other data from EPA for 1985-2003 model year cars.

EPA Evaluation Efforts
The EPA evaluates or tests products to determine whether their use will result in any significant improvement or detriment to fuel economy. However, the EPA cannot say what effect gas-saving products will have on a vehicle over time because it hasn't conducted any durability tests. It's possible that some products may harm the car or may otherwise adversely affect its performance. In fact, today's vehicles' emission control systems are very sophisticated and complex. They have On Board Diagnostic features that alert the driver to problems associated with the emission control and fuel delivery systems. Retrofit products may have an adverse effect on these systems.

Devices Tested by EPA
The following list categorizes various types of "gas-saving" products, explains how they're used and gives product names. Those with asterisks may save measurable, but small, amounts of gas. All others have been found not to increase fuel economy.

Air Bleed Devices. These devices bleed air into the carburetor. They usually are installed in the Positive Crankcase Ventilation line or as a replacement for idle-mixture screws.

The EPA has evaluated the following products: ADAKS Vacuum Breaker Air Bleed; Air-Jet Air Bleed; Aquablast Wyman Valve Air Bleed; Auto-Miser; Ball-Matic Air Bleed; Berg Air Bleed; Brisko PCV; Cyclone-Z; Econo Needle Air Bleed; Econo-Jet Air Bleed Idle Screws; Fuel Max*; Gas Saving Device; Grancor Air Computer; Hot Tip; Landrum Mini-Carb; Landrum Retrofit Air Bleed; Mini Turbocharger Air Bleed; Monocar HC Control Air Bleed; Peterman Air Bleed; Pollution Master Air Bleed; Ram-Jet; Turbo-Dyne G.R. Valve.

Vapor Bleed Devices. These devices are similar to the air bleed devices, except that induced air is bubbled through a container of a water and anti-freeze mixture, usually located in the engine compartment.

The EPA has evaluated: Atomized Vapor Injector; Frantz Vapor Injection System; Hydro-Vac: POWERFUeL; Mark II Vapor Injection System; Platinum Gasaver; V-70 Vapor Injector; SCATPAC Vacuum Vapor Induction System: Econo-Mist Vacuum Vapor Injection System; Turbo Vapor Injection System.

Liquid Injection. These products add liquid into the fuel/air intake system and not directly into the combustion chamber. The EPA has evaluated: Goodman Engine System-Model 1800; Waag-Injection System*.

Ignition Devices. These devices are attached to the ignition system or are used to replace original equipment or parts.The EPA has evaluated: Autosaver; Baur Condenser; BIAP Electronic Ignition Unit; Fuel Economizer; Magna Flash Ignition Control System; Paser Magnum/Paser 500/Paser 500 HEI; Special Formula Ignition Advance Springs.
Fuel Line Devices (heaters or coolers). These devices heat the fuel before it enters the carburetor. Usually, the fuel is heated by the engine coolant or by the exhaust or electrical system.The EPA has evaluated: FuelXpander; Gas Meiser I; Greer Fuel Preheater; Jacona Fuel System; Optimizer; Russell Fuelmiser.

Fuel Line Devices (magnets). These magnetic devices, clamped to the outside of the fuel line or installed in the fuel line, claim to change the molecular structure of gasoline.

The EPA has evaluated: PETRO-MIZER; POLARION-X; Super-Mag Fuel Extender; Wickliff Polarizer [fuel line magnet/intake air magnet].
Fuel Line Devices (metallic). Typically, these devices contain several dissimilar metals that are installed in the fuel line, supposedly causing ionization of the fuel.

The EPA has evaluated: Malpassi Filter King [fuel pressure regulator]; Moleculetor.
Mixture Enhancers (under the carburetor). These devices are mounted between the carburetor and intake manifold and supposedly enhance the mixing or vaporization of the air/fuel mixture.

The EPA has evaluated: Energy Gas Saver; Environmental Fuel Saver; Gas Saving and Emission Control Improvement Device; Glynn-50; Hydro-Catalyst Pre-Combustion Catalyst System; PETROMIZER SYSTEM; Sav-A-Mile; Spritzer; Turbo-Carb; Turbocarb.
Mixture Enhancers (others). These devices make some general modifications to the vehicle intake system.

The EPA has evaluated: Basko Enginecoat; Dresser Economizer; Electro-Dyne Superchoke; Filtron Urethane Foam Filter; Lamkin Fuel Metering Device; Smith Power and Deceleration Governor.

Internal Engine Modifications. These devices make physical or mechanical function changes to the engine.

The EPA has evaluated: ACDS Automotive Cylinder Deactivation System*; Dresser Economizer; MSU Cylinder Deactivation*.
Accessory Drive Modifiers. These devices reduce power to specific auto accessories.

The EPA has evaluated: Morse Constant Speed Accessory Drive **; P.A.S.S. Kit**; PASS Master Vehicle Air Conditioner**.

Fuels and Fuel Additives. These materials are added to the gas tank.

The EPA has evaluated: Bycosin; EI-5 Fuel Additive; Fuelon Power; Johnson Fuel Additive; NRG #1 Fuel Additive; QEI 400 Fuel Additive; Rolfite Upgrade Fuel Additive; Sta-Power Fuel Additive; Stargas Fuel Additive; SYNeRGy-1; Technol G Fuel Additive; ULX-15/ULX-15D; Vareb 10 Fuel Additive; XRG #1 Fuel Additive.

Oils and Oil Additives. Usually these materials are poured into the crankcase. The EPA has evaluated: Analube Synthetic Lubricant; Tephguard.

Driving Habit Modifiers. These are lights or sound devices to tell the driver to reduce acceleration or to shift gears.

The EPA has evaluated: AUTOTHERM**; Fuel Conservation Device; Gastell; IDALERT**.
Miscellaneous. The EPA has evaluated: BRAKE-EZ; Dynamix; Fuel Maximiser; Gyroscopic Wheel Cover; Kamei Spoilers**; Kat's Engine Heater; Lee Exhaust and Fuel Gasification EGR; Mesco Moisture Extraction System; P.S.C.U. 01 Device; Treis Emulsifier.

* Indicated a very small improvement in fuel economy but with an increase in exhaust emissions. According to Federal regulations, installation of this device could be considered illegal tampering.
** Indicated a very small improvement in fuel economy without an increase in exhaust emissions. However, cost-effectiveness must be determined by the consumer for a particular application.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

2007 Chevy Tahoe Fuel Ecomony

Chevrolet has announced the debut of the 2007 Chevy Tahoe, the next generation of the industry's best-selling full-size SUV. The new Tahoe is comprehensively redesigned and delivers a sharper, more precise driving feel, more power with improved, segment-leading fuel economy, increased interior refinement and improved quietness.

Improved efficiency
A new Gen IV small-block V-8 family – the newest chapter in the small-block's 50-year history – offers more power than comparable powertrains in previous models. Fuel-saving Displacement On Demand technology also enables better fuel economy. When combined with other vehicle-wide features, including improved aerodynamics, the small-block V-8 helps give the Tahoe the segment's best fuel economy. Preliminary testing with 5.3L-equipped models shows unadjusted combined fuel economy ratings of 20.5 mpg with 2WD models and 20.1 mpg with 4WD models. That's better fuel economy than any other full-size SUV

The new Tahoe takes over at the top of the segment in sales, quality and comfort – Tahoe has been the best-selling full-size SUV since 2001. The outgoing model (along with its longer sibling, Suburban) has ranked first in the J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Survey for five years, topping all import and luxury models. Engineers built on Tahoe's established credentials with a “no compromises” mantra that realized improvements in many areas of performance, quality and comfort.

Contributors to the 2007 Tahoe's segment-leading capability include:

• Superior ride, handling and quietness
• Improved efficiency
• Refined interior with thoughtful conveniences built in
• Distinctive, sporty exterior design
• Enhanced safety and security

“Tahoe is known for delivering whatever its customers want, whenever they want to do it – a hard-earned reputation reflected in countless independent quality studies, buying guide recommendations and customers who have returned to buy another vehicle,” said Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager. “The '07 model enhances the attributes that have made Tahoe the industry's best-selling full-size SUV and improves them with dramatically increased attention to detail in smoothness, quietness and refinement. We believe it is simply the best Tahoe yet.”

Superior ride, handling and quietness
The 2007 Tahoe is built on GM's new full-size SUV platform, which incorporates features such as a new, fully boxed frame, coil-over-shock front suspension, rack-and-pinion steering and an all-new, premium interior system that bolster the vehicle's comfort, quality and capability. Wider front and rear tracks enhance handling and lower the center of gravity for a more confident road feel.

Tahoe's engineers paid extensive attention to detail to ensure a quiet driving experience. It starts with a new, stiffer frame, which reduces vibrations transmitted to the passenger cabin. The strength and accuracy of the full-boxed frame also enables more precise mounting and tuning of chassis and suspension components, which also helps reduce vibration. Even the tires on the large, 17-inch standard and 20-inch available wheels, were designed to reduce noise.

Noise-reducing components and materials are used throughout the body structure, including the headliner material, door seals and front-of-dash area. The engine also features a quiet-tuned alternator and an acoustically tuned engine cover that dramatically reduces engine noise heard inside the vehicle. New door seals help reduce seal “pull away” at highway speeds, which can cause wind noise. Also, Tahoe's more slippery shape, thanks to improved aerodynamics, streamlined exterior mirrors and roof rack, and tighter body gap tolerances, makes Tahoe quieter as it slices through the air.

Tahoe also features details such as spray-in expanding foam, which helps reduce noise by filling in space to eliminate sound paths. The foam, located mostly in the A-pillars, expands to fill the void of a space. Tahoe's quietness and smoothness is complemented by the Autoride suspension system, which is standard on LTZ. This segment-exclusive bi-state, real-time damping system provides an extremely refined ride with greatly reduced body motion. The system consists of a semi-active, two-position damping control system that responds in real time to road and driving conditions, based on body and wheel motion sensors.

Tahoe's quietness and smoothness are complemented by capabilities full-size SUV customers depend on. Tahoe 4WD models offer up to 7,700 pounds (3,492 kg) of towing capability.

Related fuel saving links:

  1. Honda Diesel for the US market
  2. Save gas with an upscale economy car

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  2. Gas Saving Products Facts or Fiction
  3. Save Money with Gas Rebate Cards
  4. Are there fuel effiecient SUVs?
  5. Looking for a new car, compage gas mileage of every car

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Saturday, January 21, 2006

Hybrid tax credits a win-win situation

The credit is aimed at helping the environment and the U.S. auto industry. Last year Americans had their pick of 11 hybrid vehicles — cars and trucks that use a combination of gasoline and electric power — available in the market. This year consumers who choose one of these vehicles can take as much as $3,400 in tax credit on their purchase or lease.

The credit, part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, is aimed at helping the environment and boosting domestic auto sales. The credit also applies to less common types of energy-efficient cars using other alternative-fuel technology. Unfortunately, the credit will be phased out for each manufacturer as they reach sales of 60,000 qualifying vehicles. This might help jump-start the auto industry temporarily and encourage consumers to buy hybrids now rather than later, but it will not encourage the long-term solutions presented by fuel-efficient cars.

Many students decide to purchase new cars when they graduate from college and begin earning regular salaries. Anything that allows them to choose an energy-efficient car should be a permanent change to the tax code, something that will continue to encourage each generation of automobile consumers to choose the most environmentally friendly option, they can afford. Because many cutting-edge technology cars are not usually the cheapest option any incentive should be a top priority.

Implementing the credit permanently also will send a strong environmental message to auto manufacturers to continue producing these efficient vehicles, as they will become increasingly popular and “cool” among consumers, especially young adults. Keeping the tax credits intact is win-win situation for the manufacturers and the environment.
The domestic manufacturers now must compete with the more-popular foreign options. The Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner still lag behind the Toyota Prius in sales, and if the new tax credit is to work, U.S. companies will be forced to come up with more in-demand and recognizable products.

In any event, now is the time for students who will soon graduate and be in the market for new vehicles to consider buying an environmentally friendly car, and they’ll save a bit when it is time to pay the Internal Revenue Service, too.


Are gas rebate cards worth it?

UNDATED -- Instead of just complaining about high gas prices, how would you like to get money back every time you fill up? Gas rebate cards can save you big if you use them right. But not all cards are the same and there are some pitfalls to watch for. Ira Stoller, uses several gas rebate cards. "I get a five percent rebate every time I gas up," said Stoller. "I save about $300 a year. Stoller is one of millions of people who now use gas rebate cards, credit cards where the incentive isn't airline mileage or bonus points, but money back on gas. The popularity of these cards has surged in the last year or two, according to spokesperson Curtis Arnold. Arnold says there are different kinds to choose from. Some are brand specific but a growing number of cards offer rebates on nearly any gas purchase. "If you want to shop around for the best gas prices in town," said Arnold. "you're still going to get that rebate." But do your homework. Some cards promise sky-high rebates but they're merely introductory offers that drop in a month or two. And know how to claim your rebate. Some cards mail you a check, others credit your account...and some wait for you to ask. "A key thing to worry about on these cards is the expiration of the rebate," said Consumer Action's Linda Sherry. "It can expire if you don't ask for it on some of the cards. So, that can be within even as short a time as six months." Sherry also warns that if you typically carry a credit card balance, these cards are not for you, because they often have high interest rates! But, if you play it right, you can save big. One customer boosted his savings by using his rebate card to buy a discounted gas gift card. His combined savings: 26 cents a gallon! It's also worth noting that many of those cards also offer rebates on things like groceries and drug store purchases.


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Saturday, January 14, 2006


TOYOTA PONDERS A POWER/ECONOMY SWITCH FOR HYBRIDS. Toyota Motor Corp. is studying technology that would equip drivers of hybrid vehicles with a switch that enables them to shift between “green” and “power” performance settings, reports The Wall Street Journal. Jim Press, president of Toyota’s U.S. sales operations, says the concept would enable the company to address criticism that it’s fuel-sipping Prius hybrid is too lethargic but its RX400h SUV hybrid is too performance-oriented. The system would allow drivers to maximize fuel economy or, in the words of another Toyota executive, “drive the wheels off” whenever they want a surge of power.

OEMs PUSH HYBRIDS, CROSSOVERS AT DETROIT SHOW. Automakers are using this week’s pre-show media events at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit to trumpet a bevy of vehicles aimed at the U.S. market’s two hottest segments: hybrids and crossovers. General Motors, Nissan and Toyota are among those adding hybrid vehicles or expanding their hybrid lineups this year. Other OEMs—including BMW, Hyundai, Subaru and Volkswagen—either plan to add hybrids a few years from now or are showing concept hybrids at the show. Companies touting new crossover vehicles—trucklike models that ride on carlike platforms—in either production or concept form include Acura, Buick, Ford, General Motors, Jeep, Lincoln and Mazda.


HONDA PREPARES DIESEL ENGINE FOR U.S. Honda Motor Co. says it is developing a four-cylinder diesel engine to offer in some of the vehicles it sells in the U.S. by the end of the decade, Automotive News reports. It wasn’t clear whether Honda is developing a new engine or modifying either the 1.7- or 2.2-liter diesel it currently offers in Europe.

HONDA MIGHT BUILD MINICAR IN THE U.S. Honda Motor Co. says it will consider building its little entry-level Fit car in the U.S. if the little four-door is a success, Reuters reports. The Fit will debut in the American market in April as a Japanese-made import. Honda predicts first-year sales
between 30,000 and 40,000 units. The company is adding the Fit to its U.S. lineup to compete with an impending flood of small entry-level models from competitors. Honda tells Reuters it will
consider local production only if the Fit doesn’t cannibalize sales from its larger Civic car line.

EPA Mileage Tests to be Updated

EPA Mileage Tests to be Updated Existing Tests Don't Reflect Actual Driving Conditions

January 10, 2006

The Environmental Protection Agency plans to announce new tests to determine automobile and truck gasoline mileage estimates that will more accurately reflect the actual mileage drivers see with their cars and trucks.

The new tests and standards will begin with the 2008 model year.

Consumer advocates have repeatedly criticized the existing EPA mileage estimates as inaccurate and have called on the agency to update its tests that were first developed in the 1970s.

Modern automotive technology and changing driving demands make the EPA's laboratory numbers misleading at best. The EPA tests fail to take into account clogged commuter roads as well as high speed interstate driving.

Last year Consumer Reports said that of 303 vehicles it tested, 90 percent failed to achieve the mileage standards stated on the vehicle’s window sticker. Some of the tested vehicles missed the mark by as much as 50 percent.

The EPA estimates are important to automakers. They use the numbers to meet federal fuel economy standards.

Most recently, hybrid drivers have complained that the EPA estimates and manufacturer claims are inaccurate.

The controversy over Prius mileage continues as many owners tell ConsumerAffairs.Com that the hybrids are not living up to their EPA estimates. Deborah in Louisville joins a growing number of Prius owners complaining about the EPA estimates and Toyota’s mileage claims of 60 mpg in the city and 55 on the highway.

"After six months of tracking," she writes, "the best mileage I ever got was 43 miles per gallon. Most often my mileage is between 30-36 miles per gallon and that is no better than cars I have had in the past. I am very disappointed in (their) fraudulent advertising and the money I have shelled out only to be disappointed."

Toyota continues to insist that it just is not possible for a properly driven Prius to achieve such poor mileage and blames the results on driver error, not the EPA mileage estimates or company claims.

Carol in Evanston, Illinois found her actual Prius mileage far below the Toyota and EPA numbers.

"When my husband and I first bought the car in August 2005, the average mileage came in at around 55 mph, which I thought was pretty good since I drive 60 miles for work each day. But after a month or two, the mileage began to go down, and right now in December I'm hovering around 42 to 44 miles per gallon," Carol wrote.

"This is very disappointing, especially since I'm very careful to watch the display, watch my foot pressure on the accelerator, keep the air conditioning off," she said.

The new EPA mileage tests will be phased in two stages. The first stage will begin with 2008 model-year vehicles and will lower mileage estimates to reflect the drain of air-conditioning and other high technology and equipment now part of modern vehicles.
Phase one could cut mileage estimates by as much as 13 percent.

Phase two begins with the 2011 model year. The specifics of those tests that the EPA is contemplating are unclear but the mileage estimates are likely to include emissions as well as mileage.

After the EPA formally proposes the changes, the agency will have 90 days for public comment before taking final action.

Currently the EPA tests mileage for city driving as well as highway driving. City driving speeds are limited to 52 mph and highway speeds do not exceed 60 mph.

The tests are conducted at room temperature with the vehicle's air-conditioning turned off.

The agency tests only about 10% of new models, relying on automakers to use the guidelines to test their own vehicles.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Diesel engines make a comeback on the Jeep Liberty

Record high gas prices pushed U.S. consumers to consider the new generation of clean-running, quiet diesels. The newest U.S. offering is the Jeep Liberty which easily exceeded it sales goal of 5000 units. As of December 22, 2005 the 8240 were sold by the Jeep brand.

Toyota's Hybrid Prius help keep the Green image

Toyota offers a fair number of gas guzzling SUVs and large pickups. However, they have managed to keep their image clean by featuring fuel effiencient vehicles such as the Prius Hybrid. Toyota started focusing on Hybrid by in the 1990's, their cars offer distinctive aerodynamic styling and feature vehicles that get almost 60 miles per gallon (MPG).

At first naysayers called hybrids nothing more than a glorified marketing strategy. Most experts felt that customers would not pay the premium price for a vehicle just based on the operating costs savings. However, consumers flocked to hybrids, could it be a trend or a feel good factor that drives the sales. Also, taking a $3000 hit on the price of the car happens once when you buy it, however, most people buy gas once or twice a week and when gas was at $3.40 a gallon driving your SUV made you feel bad every week.

The Toyota Prius sold more thand 100,000 units in 2005, outselling entire brands such as Suzuki, Audi, Hummer, and Mini. Toyota will expand it hybrid presense to the Highlander, camry and Lexus. The popularity is reinforced by the success of the Ford Escape Hybrid whose demand is greater than Ford's capacity to build them.

GM introduces new vehicles at LA auto show focused on fuel economy

GM focus on the ecocology and fuel savings in last December's LA autoshow.

2007 Chevy Suburban: The all-new 2007 Suburban is Chevy's flagship SUV and is built on GM's brand-new full-size SUV architecture, combining advanced fuel-saving technologies and changes in design aerodynamics for best-in-class fuel economy. The 2007 Suburban will go on sale in the second quarter of 2006.

Chevy also introduced the newest member of the passenger car family the 2007 AVEO sedan. Saab presented a fueled concept vehicle the Aero Bio-Power which is powered with 85% ethanol and 15 percent gas.