Media Contact: Cynthia Harris
Walnut Creek, April 13, 2011
In recognition of the upcoming Earth Day 2011, AAA Northern California is revealing its top picks for ‘green’ vehicles.
“The huge influx of ‘green’ technologies into the auto market is a big benefit to consumers,” said AAA Northern California spokesperson Cynthia Harris. “Increasing efficiency means that less fuel is burned for every mile driven. That’s great news for the environment and our pocketbooks.”
AAA’s top picks are selected by its auto buying experts who test drive and evaluate hundreds of vehicles each year. More information about alternative fuels is available at www.aaa.com/greenlight. AAA offers a no-haggle car buying service with pre-arranged pricing to its members. Visit www.aaa.com/carbuying for details.
Electric Vehicles (EV’s)_
Electric Vehicles are fully electric vehicles and do not use gasoline at all. Motorists typically plug them in to a charging station at night or while not in use in a parking garage for example.
Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV’s)
Plug-Ins use a rechargeable battery pack that allows the car to travel up to 35 miles before the onboard gasoline engine starts. In some cars, this engine will provide power to the drive wheels. In other models this engine powers a generator that delivers power to the motor driving the vehicle while also recharging the batteries. Unlike fully electric vehicles, a plug-in hybrid is limited only by the range of its gas tank.
These cars and trucks use a gasoline engine and an electric motor. A full or parallel hybrid can run on either the gasoline or electric motor, or use both for maximum performance. A mild hybrid uses the electric motor to aid the gasoline engine, which must always be running when the car is moving. Full hybrids can travel on electric power alone.
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)
Natural Gas is a mix of methane, propane, ethane, butane and other components that naturally occur in the ground. Typically it contains 70 to 90% methane. When purified, natural gas is the cleanest of all the fossil fuels. CNG is the same as regular natural gas except that it's stored under pressure in tanks to save space
Gasoline and Diesel Vehicles
AAA Northern California offers a wide array of automotive, travel, insurance, DMV, financial services and consumer discounts to nearly 4 million members. AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers since it was founded more than 100 years ago.