Green Car Journal Publishes Fall Issue

Features interview with Carl Pope on America's oil dependence...

Published: 11-Oct-2004

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif., Oct. 8 -- In the Fall 2004 issue of the Green Car Journal consumer magazine, Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope points out in an interview that, “right now, in many American cities, the waiting list to get a hybrid vehicle is longer than the waiting list to get an organ transplant.”

That’s not a good thing. But with Toyota increasing production capacity of its immensely popular Prius, the long-awaited Ford Escape Hybrid SUV poised to enter the market, and the Honda Accord Hybrid joining its Insight and Civic Hybrid brethren at dealerships in December, increased availability should soon find new car buyers breathing easier.

The country’s dependence on oil is also on Pope’s mind. When reflecting on progress in the auto industry versus other commercial industries, Pope looks to coal as an example.

“The auto industry has done more to embrace new technology than the coal industry,” says Pope, “but on the other hand, the auto industry has done more to increase our dependence on oil, so they have a larger moral responsibility.”

Green Car Journal, an award-winning auto enthusiast magazine that blends mainstream automotive coverage with a focus on energy diversity and the environment, offers its readers an in-depth look at how the auto industry is responding to this sense of responsibility, and the challenges it faces, with a wide range of interesting, informative, and entertaining features. This is a reflection of editor/publisher Ron Cogan’s 29 years as an auto writer, as publisher and analyst at the Green Car industry newsletter, and as former feature editor at Motor Trend.

In the issue, Ford’s vice-president of research and advanced engineering Gerhard Schmidt shares the direction his company is taking to lessen the automobile’s environmental impacts. He also admits that the auto industry is at a crossroads, and that “there are changes underway that show our present business model is unsustainable for the next 50 years.”

Among the articles in this issue are “The Truth About Biodiesel,” “Inside Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist,” and “10 Tips for Higher MPG.” The latter article is presented as a guide to selecting vehicles that fit a buyer’s needs, but also offer improved fuel efficiency. Colorful features in the issue showcase the Prius GT, Nissan Altima Hybrid, and electric Lotus Elise.

Excerpts from Green Car Journal’s print edition can be viewed free on the magazine’s companion website, Green Car Journal Online, at www.greencar.com. Feature articles here include a review of the Ford Escape Hybrid, VW’s drive toward high-efficiency diesels, and a wild Subaru hybrid sports car that sets the bar on several levels.

Also offered online is a major feature titled “Muscling in on Gasoline,” a review of renewable ethanol’s potential as a widespread motor fuel and a look at the mainstream vehicles now capable on running on this alcohol alternative fuel.

“Today, we have nearly four million ethanol flexible-fuel vehicles on American highways capable of running on E-85 ethanol, gasoline, or any mixture of these fuels in the same tank,” says Cogan. “Ironically, there are but a few hundred E-85 refueling stations in the country, so most of these vehicles are running on gasoline.”

As the number of flexible fuel vehicle models increases from its current 21 models and their numbers driving on American highways grow to five million, then 10, and more, Cogan adds that, “it will be interesting to see when government entities will be spurred to action, knowing that at least one answer to energy diversity is at hand in the short term, if only widespread fueling opportunities were available.”

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