EarthTalk: Most Fuel Efficient Cars Today


Published:

Dear EarthTalk,

Which are the most fuel-efficient hybrid and/or all-electric cars available to consumers today (just the affordable ones, please!) — Jack Madison, Chicago, IL

The electric Mitsubishi Miev is the most fuel efficient car available to US consumers, achieving 112 MPG equivalent (swapping electricity for gas in calculations).

Given increased environmental awareness, high gas prices and a continually slumping economy, it's no wonder that more fuel efficient cars are all the rage these days. The best deal going may be Honda's hybrid, the 42 miles-per-gallon (MPG) Insight ($18,350). Meanwhile, the newest version of Toyota's flagship hybrid, the Prius ($23,015), garners an impressive 50 MPG. Other solid choices include Toyota's 41-MPG Camry hybrid ($25,900), Ford's 39-MPG Fusion hybrid ($28,700), Lexus' 42-MPG CT 200h ($29,120) and Lincoln's 39-MPG MKZ Hybrid ($34,755).

For even greater efficiency and lower sticker prices, consider going electric, whereby you can charge your vehicle at ordinary electric outlets at home or work. Mitsubishi's new MiEV ($29,125) electric is the most fuel efficient car available to U.S. consumers in the 2012 model year, achieving 112 “MPG-equivalent” (the U.S. Environment Protection Agency's rating for electric vehicles that swaps in electricity for gas in its calculations) and a 62 mile range per full charge — not bad considering four adults can fit fairly comfortably inside. Another option is Smart's FourTwo Electric ($28,752), a two-seater with an 87 MPG-equivalent. And Nissan's all-electric Leaf ($35,200) achieves 99 MPG efficiency for a range up to 100 miles.

So-called “plug-in” hybrids also allow drivers to charge their vehicles' electric batteries via common power outlets, but also can use gasoline as needed for a longer range. Though pricey at $39,145, the Chevy Volt may save you money in the long run because it gets a whopping 94 MPG-equivalent in its preferred all-electric mode. An onboard gas generator produces more electricity as the vehicle is driven, extending the car's range with a full tank of gas to some 375 miles. Toyota released a plug-in version of its Prius ($32,760) this year, as well. It gets 87 MPG in electric mode (but this will only get you 15 miles without gas assistance) and a respectable 49 MPG in regular hybrid mode.

Another factor to consider when deciding which of these new uber-efficient vehicles may be right for you is the availability of additional incentives. Buyers of a new Volt, MiEV, FourTwo Electric or Leaf, for example, can cash in on a federal tax credit of $7,500 — and some states may offer additional incentives — bringing the overall cost of these cars down to within the range of similarly sized traditional car models. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) posts all of the relevant federal tax incentives online at its Fuel Efficient Vehicle Tax Information Center website. For state-by-state incentives, check out the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE), a free online resources maintained by the North Carolina Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC).

Of course, consumers don't have to go hybrid or electric to enjoy improved fuel efficiency these days. Scion's iQ ($15,265) and Honda's CR-Z ($19,545) each get 37 MPG out of sporty little gas-powered internal combustion engines. Kia, Toyota, Chevrolet, Hyundai and Nissan also make smaller traditional cars that get a respectable 33-34 MPG for sticker prices under $15,000.

CONTACTS: DOE's Fuel Efficient Vehicle Tax Information Center, www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/taxcenter.shtml; DSIRE, www.dsireusa.org; Edmunds' “Decoding Electric Car MPG,” www.edmunds.com/fuel-economy/decoding-electric-car-mpg.html.

EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E-The Environmental Magazine ( www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: earthtalk@emagazine.com. Subscribe: www.emagazine.com/subscribe. Free Trial Issue: www.emagazine.com/trial.

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

We invite you to comment on our articles and the issues they raise. Comments are moderated for offensive language, commercial messages and off-topic posts. Some comments may be chosen for inclusion in the magazine on the Feedback page, if name and city are included.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags

Daily Astrology

July 28, 2015

As the Moon nears the full phase the action and temperatures are heating up. Big ideas and high hopes spice up mental musings and lively conversations, at least until late morning when the Sagittarius Moon goes void of course for several hours...
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Alternative Health Directory

Browse all listings »

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

July 2015

Climb aboard our haywagon and travel through time as you hear stories of the ship captains, fishermen, farmers, teachers, and homemakers who have lived on Wolfe’s Neck over the past 250...

Cost: $6 per person, kids 12 and under are free!

Where:
Wolfe's Neck Farm
184 Burnett Road
Freeport, ME  04032
View map »


Sponsor: Wolfe's Neck Farm
Telephone: (207) 865-4469
Website »

More information

Our Barnyard and Organic Garden Tours introduce visitors to some of our sustainable agricultural activities. After meeting our cows, sheep, goats and chickens, you’ll ride in our haywagon to...

Cost: $5 per person (free for ages 3 and under)

Where:
Wolfe's Neck Farm
184 Burnett Rd
Freeport, MA  04032
View map »


Sponsor: Wolfe's Neck Farm
Telephone: (207) 869-5433
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Climb aboard our haywagon and travel through time as you hear stories of the ship captains, fishermen, farmers, teachers, and homemakers who have lived on Wolfe’s Neck over the past 250...

Cost: $6 per person, kids 12 and under are free!

Where:
Wolfe's Neck Farm
184 Burnett Road
Freeport, ME  04032
View map »


Sponsor: Wolfe's Neck Farm
Telephone: (207) 865-4469
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Climb aboard our haywagon and travel through time as you hear stories of the ship captains, fishermen, farmers, teachers, and homemakers who have lived on Wolfe’s Neck over the past 250...

Cost: $6 per person, kids 12 and under are free!

Where:
Wolfe's Neck Farm
184 Burnett Road
Freeport, ME  04032
View map »


Sponsor: Wolfe's Neck Farm
Telephone: (207) 865-4469
Website »

More information

Guided Meditation Featuring Grace Ramsey Coolidge, LMHC, Heart and Energy Based Psychotherapist 40 years of meditation experience   3-week Sessions (Tuesdays from 6:30 – 8p)...

Cost: $45

Where:
Groton Wellness
Mill Run Plaza
493 Main Street
Groton, MA  01450
View map »


Sponsor: Groton Wellness
Telephone: (978) 449-9919
Contact Name: Christine Habermann
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Climb aboard our haywagon and travel through time as you hear stories of the ship captains, fishermen, farmers, teachers, and homemakers who have lived on Wolfe’s Neck over the past 250...

Cost: $6 per person, kids 12 and under are free!

Where:
Wolfe's Neck Farm
184 Burnett Road
Freeport, ME  04032
View map »


Sponsor: Wolfe's Neck Farm
Telephone: (207) 865-4469
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Climb aboard our haywagon and travel through time as you hear stories of the ship captains, fishermen, farmers, teachers, and homemakers who have lived on Wolfe’s Neck over the past 250...

Cost: $6 per person, kids 12 and under are free!

Where:
Wolfe's Neck Farm
184 Burnett Road
Freeport, ME  04032
View map »


Sponsor: Wolfe's Neck Farm
Telephone: (207) 865-4469
Website »

More information

Are you tired, stressed, and fatigued?  Is this just part of normal aging or does it mean something else? Join Groton Wellness' Sue Lunt, RN and holistic, certified health coach, as she...

Cost: $15

Where:
Groton Wellness
Mill Run Plaza
493 Main Street
Groton, MA  01450
View map »


Sponsor: Groton Wellness
Telephone: (978) 449-9919
Contact Name: Christine Habermann
Website »

More information

July 30 - August 2, 2015 9am - 6pm With Judith Swack, Ph.D. Healing From The Body Level Up 1 Training shows you how to rapidly transform and heal your clients and yourself. 28 CE credits for...

Where:
Needham, MA


Telephone: (781) 444-6940
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Climb aboard our haywagon and travel through time as you hear stories of the ship captains, fishermen, farmers, teachers, and homemakers who have lived on Wolfe’s Neck over the past 250...

Cost: $6 per person, kids 12 and under are free!

Where:
Wolfe's Neck Farm
184 Burnett Road
Freeport, ME  04032
View map »


Sponsor: Wolfe's Neck Farm
Telephone: (207) 865-4469
Website »

More information

Preregistration required! Register here: http://www.eventzilla.net/web/event?eventid=2139092366   Workshop Description: This workshop is intended to help guide each individual...

Cost: $40 (preregistration required)

Where:
The Artful Life Counseling Center and Studio
Beverly, MA


Sponsor: Better Days Recovery
Contact Name: Craig Lewis
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Parents, Nurses, Massage Workshop 1 and 2 Weekend $295  Positive results may include a reduction in anxiety, and depression, and supports people with Down syndrome, Autism, and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Greenland
370 Portsmouth Ave
Greenland, NH  03840
View map »


Sponsor: Susan Burdick
Telephone: (603) 770-6177
Contact Name: Susan Burdick
Website »

More information

Climb aboard our haywagon and travel through time as you hear stories of the ship captains, fishermen, farmers, teachers, and homemakers who have lived on Wolfe’s Neck over the past 250...

Cost: $6 per person, kids 12 and under are free!

Where:
Wolfe's Neck Farm
184 Burnett Road
Freeport, ME  04032
View map »


Sponsor: Wolfe's Neck Farm
Telephone: (207) 865-4469
Website »

More information

Pregnancy Program to connect with yourself and a supportive community through the journey of pregnancy, birth and parenting. With Dalilah Rain a KRI Certified Kundalini Yoga and Conscious...

Cost: See Website

Where:
195 Lake Ave
Worcester, MA  01604


Sponsor: Flowforms Yoga
Telephone: (508) 752-4700
Contact Name: Molly Jackson
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags