Future Is Now for Green Cars: Technology is ushering an entire fleet of new low-emission vehicles.
“The mandate in California for partial zero-emission vehicles, or PZEVs, has prompted automakers to ship a range of models that are up to 90 percent cleaner than non-PZEV models. The cars, powered by internal-combustion engines, emit so little waste that more-sensitive tools had to be developed to test them.
Currently, 27 car models from 10 companies share the PZEV rating with the more fuel-efficient gas-electric hybrids, such as Toyota’s second-generation Prius, shipped to dealers this month. All the PZEV models are available in California; several are sold in other states as well.”
Toyota has plowed millions into its new, redesigned Prius which has resulted in a combined mileage of 55 m.p.g. An interesting side-effect of the gas/electric hybrid model is that it actually gets higher mileage in the city (60 m.p.g.) than it does on the highway (51 m.p.g.), presumably because the electric motor is used more in city driving.