Honda Civic Hybrid
offered in Manzanillo

If you are living in the Manzanillo area, make sure you stop in at the local Honda dealership (Dinastia Honda at the Las Brisas traffic circle) and take a look at the Honda Civic Hybrid, which, according to sales manager Cesar Lopez Perez, has a 1.3 liter, 4-cylinder engine, as well as an electric motor for improved fuel economy and reduced emissions.

If you want to drive the most environmentally friendly or "greenest" vehicle, you need to think small or think hybrid. According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), one third of the top 12 vehicles that rank as the greenest of 2008 feature hybrid powertrains.

A nonprofit organization, ACEEE is dedicated to advancing energy efficiency as a means of protecting the environment and strengthening the economy. Each year ACEEE publishes the Green Book, listing the "Green Scores" and environmental information about vehicles available in the new model year, as well as a list of the 12 "greenest" vehicles available that year.

The Green Score is a numeric value of a vehicle's environmental friendliness, as assigned by the ACEEE. Determined by more factors than just fuel economy, the score also incorporates tailpipe and other emissions that can cause global warming. The higher the Green Score the more environmentally friendly the vehicle, based on the ACEEE evaluation, and this Civic ranks third in the line-up.

The Honda Civic GX (not offered in Mexico) ranked #1 with a score of 57, trailed by a Toyota Prius (not offered in Mexico) with 53, and the Civic with 51. 

The Civic was first introduced as a small, inexpensive hatchback in 1972 and has increased in size while continuing to offer excellent fuel economy. The Civic Hybrid sedan was added to the lineup for 2003, featuring a fuel-efficient gas-electric hybrid powertrain. Honda introduced an all-new second-generation Civic Hybrid for the 2006 model year. For the first time in 2008, the Honda Hybrid is offered in Mexico in "electric gray" with a blue and beige interior. It gets roughly 40 mpg, and costs approximately $25,000.

Volkswagen, the German car giant, will participate in a joint venture with Phoenix Motorcars to build electric vehicles for Latin America and India.

The plant for the venture, called Pristine International, will be built in Puebla, Mexico. It is unclear what kind of vehicles these cars will be. Phoenix, though, specializes in all-electric SUVs and Trucks. The company has taken orders for over 500 electric vehicles and hopes to start delivering some to customers in 2008. Earlier, it had hoped to get cars out in 2007, but their plans were delayed.