Green News: Latest in hybrid vehicles

For everything you do, there’s a green choice that’s good for you AND the environment. Here you’ll find information about how people, companies and organizations are embracing “GREEN TECHNOLOGY” and discovering environmentally responsible alternatives to older technology.

Following are some of the latest stories about how hybrid vehicles are getting on the road and some new kinds of thinking about how they are getting on the road.

UPS drivers in Detroit will be testing new hybrid delivery trucks developed by the U.S. EPA. The EPA claims the trucks will boost fuel efficiency up to 70 percent in stop-and-go traffic. These vehicles are equipped with a prototype hybrid system that uses hydraulic fluid and a high-pressure pump instead of electrical current and a generator (this means no batteries!). It’s reported that this new hydraulic hybrid could save about 1,000 gallons of fuel per year. WOW!

Toyota continues its plans to build a hybrid that runs on batteries charged by a typical 120-volt outlet before switching over to a gasoline engine for longer hauls. There is, however, no timeline for when such cars could be offered for sale. According to Jim Press, the first non-Japanese president of Toyota’s U.S. unit, its hybrid technology has long-term staying power because it can adapt to several alternatives, such as clean diesels, biodiesels, ethanol, plug-in hybrids or hydrogen fuel cells.

Speaking of that Toyota Prius, the world’s most popular hybrid car, it emits half as much carbon dioxide as a traditional black cab does making it an obvious choice for greentomatocars, an environmentally-friendly cab service in London launched in March 2006. Visit to find out more! (The best part is taking a “tomato” instead of a black cab means the ride costs less! The source of this information, Springwise, has written about similar initiatives in the U.S.

Take it a step further, and you’ll find EV Rental Cars, the first U.S. rental car company whose entire fleet consists of hybrid vehicles. The LA-based firm has doubled its fleet over the past two years! Check it out at Another benefit of using their cars? They qualify for the carpool lane in California, even when the driver is the only occupant!

Thinking about a new car? Visit

From the Aug. 16-22, 2006, issue

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