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Civil Society Institute

40MPG.ORG Poll Asks Consumers To Decide Which Top-Selling U.S. Vehicles Should "Go Hybrid" Next

Consumers Urged to Send a Message to Detroit By Picking Next Car, Truck or SUV for Hybrid Treatment; Six of 10 Top-Selling Vehicles in the U.S. Already Have "Gone Hybrid."

WASHINGTON, D.C.///May 25, 2005/// With plans already announced for hybrid versions of six of the 10 top-selling vehicles in the United States, the http://www.40mpg.org Web site is urging American consumers to "send a message to Detroit" by picking the next vehicles without hybrid plans to introduce such fuel-saving versions of popular models.

At the 40mpg.org Web site, consumers can make their picks for three of the 10 best-selling vehicles in America with no publicly announced plans (as of May 15, 2005) to introduce hybrid models. 40mpg.org encourages higher fuel-efficiency standards for U.S. vehicles and is a Web-based campaign organized by the Results for America arm of the nonprofit and nonpartisan Civil Society Institute (CSI).

The 10 best-selling vehicles with no publicly announced hybrid plans are (in order of sales): Ford F-Series pick-ups; Toyota Corolla; Chevy Impala; Ford Explorer; Ford Taurus; Chevy Trailblazer; Jeep Grand Cherokee; Ford Focus; Chrysler Town & Country; and the Ford Econoline.

The six out of 10 top-selling U.S. vehicles with hybrids already available (or in the works) are (in terms of their non-hybrid overall U.S. vehicle sales ranking): #2 Chevy Silverado (available now as a 2005 model in limited states); #3 Toyota Camry (hybrid version planned for 2007 model year); #4 Dodge Ram (hybrid production reportedly began in 2004-2005 winter); #6 Honda Accord (hybrid version came out for 2006 model year); #9 Nissan Altima (hybrid planned for 2007 model year) and #10 Honda Civic (hybrid version rolled out for model year 2003).

Civil Society Institute President Pam Solo said: "We are conducting this online poll for one simple reason: Detroit needs to get the message that it can't keep its head in the sand forever when it comes to vehicles achieving greater fuel efficiency. We have the technology, it is affordable and other nations are using it to overtake American automakers. Our economy depends on the auto industry for tens of thousands of jobs. Unfortunately, it is no coincidence that, of the six vehicles now available in hybrid version among the top 10 sellers in America, four are being offered by non-U.S. automakers."

Solo added: "Our poll comes at a critical juncture for American automakers. It does no one any good to ignore the increasingly obvious facts: Detroit is allowing itself to be left behind as consumers embrace the new technology that can save them money at the pump, cut pollution and reduce our dangerous over-dependence on oil from the volatile Middle East."

The source for the data used in the survey for top 10 U.S. vehicle sales (through April 2005) is Automotivenews.com. Announced hybrid sales plans are based on two sources: www.hybridcars.com and public announcements by U.S. and non-U.S. automakers. 40mpg.org recognizes that the status of the auto industry's hybrid vehicle plans change on a weekly basis and is prepared to adjust the survey as new hybrid-introduction announcements are made by automakers. Information about new hybrid auto introductions should be submitted to contactus@40mpg.org.

The 40mpg.org campaign and Results For America/Civil Society Institute have no direct or indirect ties to any automakers in the United States or elsewhere around the world. Hybrid technology is only one of the fuel-efficiency approaches that 40mpg.org is promoting as a way to save consumers money, reduce harm to the environment and help curb the United States' dependence on Middle Eastern oil.

ABOUT WWW.40MPG.ORG

The 40mpg.org campaign and Results For America/Civil Society Institute have no direct or indirect ties to any automakers in the United States or elsewhere around the world.

Launched on March 17, 2004, the new http://www.40mpg.org Web site features a calculator that allows visitors to plug in estimates for their current vehicle's fuel efficiency level, a typical price paid for gasoline in recent weeks, and total number of miles driven per year. For example, a driver who gets 17 miles to the gallon, pays $2 a gallon for gasoline and drives 25,000 miles per year, could achieve the following each year by switching to a 40 mpg vehicle: save $1,691.18 at the gas pump; require 845 fewer gallons of gasoline from Middle East oil; and cut personal air pollution by 16,912 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

The 40mpg.org Web site also permits visitors to: join a community of other people who own their vehicle make/model; compare and contrast one vehicle's fuel-efficiency ratings with those of others; monitor how individual members of Congress weighed in on the most recent fuel-efficiency standard votes; contact automakers to speak out in favor of more fuel-efficient vehicles; and send a letter to the editor of a local newspaper urging the adoption of a 40 mpg fuel-efficiency standard. Visitors who sign up at the 40mpg.org Web site will be contacted in the future to urge lawmakers and automakers to take action.

Results For America is a project of the Civil Society Institute, which is based in Newton, Massachusetts. The mission of CSI is to serve as a catalyst for change by creating problem-solving interactions among people, and between communities, government and business, that can help to improve society. RFA seeks to shape and tap the tremendous amount of community-level knowledge, experience and innovative action that could solve America's problems in four key areas, including: energy policy. In this context, Results For America states: "Our national energy policy poses a growing threat to our health, to our economy and even to our national security ... Our oil imports make us more vulnerable to terrorists and give us less room to maneuver in our foreign policy. Our failure to develop the next generation of energy technology costs our nation well-paying jobs. The Results for America environmental initiative is designed to focus attention on the dangers of current US energy and environmental policies and to put real solutions front and center."

CONTACT: Ailis Aaron, (703) 276-3265 or aaaron@hastingsgroup.com.