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FAQ: Auto Safety

Do neighborhood EVs (NEVs) like the GEM qualify for State incentives?

At this time, NEVs are not eligible for any State incentives. NEVs are a cheaper option for meeting the ARB's ZEV requirement. Therefore, the NEV manufactures had to choose between receiving the incentives or ZEV credit. So far, all NEV manufacturers have chosen ZEV credits. Although you may not receive the money directly in your pocket, ZEV credits are worth enough...

When are fuel cell vehicles going to be available to the public?

Auto makers are estimating that fuel cell vehicles will be available to the public within the next 10 to 15 years. Four major goals must be achieved to commercialize fuel cell engines for automobiles. The first is to prove the reliability and durability of the fuel cell. Second, the cost of building the fuel cell engine must be reduced so that it is competitive with...

Can I still buy an electric vehicle?

More and more standard gasoline powered vehicle models are being made so clean that they achieve the ARB's most stringent emissions ratings. But you can't identify these vehicles by how they look - so it's important to know what to look for at the dealership. The cleanest gasoline vehicles have a "PZEV" emissions rating. You can find out what PZEVs are available by...

How do I know which gasoline powered vehicles are clean?

More and more standard gasoline powered vehicle models are being made so clean that they achieve the ARB's most stringent emissions ratings. But you can't identify these vehicles by how they look - so it's important to know what to look for at the dealership. The cleanest gasoline vehicles have a "PZEV" emissions rating. You can find out what PZEVs are available by...

What is a hybrid electric vehicle (HEVs)?

Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) commercially available today combine an internal combustion engine with a battery and electric motor. This combination can offer the extended range and rapid refueling of a conventional vehicle, while reducing energy requirements and emissions. The practical benefits of HEVs might include improved fuel economy and lower emissions...

What is a TLEV, LEV, ULEV, SULEV, PZEV, AT PZEV and ZEV?

TLEV: Transitional Low Emission Vehicle This is the least stringent emissions standard in California. TLEVs are phased out as of 2004. LEV: Low Emission Vehicle All new cars sold in California starting in 2004 will have at least a LEV or better emissions rating. ULEV: Ultra Low Emission Vehicles ULEVs are 50% cleaner than the average new model year car. SULEV:...

Aren't today's SUVs, trucks and vans cleaner?

In 1998, the California Air Resources Board extended the passenger car emissions standards to heavier sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks (with gross vehicle weight up to 8,500 pounds), which formerly had been regulated under less stringent emission standards (LEV I). The new regulations (LEV II) provide a transition period between 2004 and 2007 for...

How can I find a USED car that is clean?

The easiest way to find a clean used vehicle is to review the previous model year vehicles list provided on this web site. PZEVs and AT PZEVs are your best bet because they have a 15 year / 150,000 mile warranty on all emissions system components of the vehicle. This means the car will be clean for most of the life of the vehicle, and this great warranty is...

How can I choose a car that has fewer emissions?

When shopping for a new or used vehicle, keep in mind that while all California cars have advanced emission control systems, many newer vehicles are designed to produce even lower levels of emissions - you just need to know what to look for. There are technologies like hybrid electric vehicles that combine an internal combustion engine with a battery and electric...

Buying a Used Car: How Not To Get Burned

Buying a Used Car: How Not To Get Burned Next to your home, a car is probably the most expensive pre-owned purchase you will ever make. There's a good reason finance companies ask you to perform a pre-purchase inspection on a home: a lot of secrets can hide behind new paint and shingles. The same is true of a used car; a lot of problems could be lurking under that shiny new paint job and steam-cleaned...

Online Car Buying - Don't Get Cyber-burned - Three Methods of Online Car Buying

Online Car Buying - Don't Get Cyber-burned Buying a car online is a safe and often simple process. The following article details the different ways to purchase a car online, and what to look out for. In the last five years, online shopping has grown from relative obscurity to a multi-billion dollar business. A recent report from the Yankee Group, a Boston-based research firm, states that the Web "is no longer...

Getting down to some serious fun: What are the best new vehicles?

Getting down to some serious fun: What are the best new vehicles? Some New Englanders are satisfied to hibernate for most of the winter. But this region is also known for its outdoor, cold-weather activities, too, with more mountains, cross-country trails and frozen ponds than you can shake an icicle at. Choosing a vehicle to match your winter activities used to be easy. You simply picked the color of SUV you liked and headed north...

Should You Buy New Tires or be a Slave to Train Schedules?

Should You Buy New Tires or be a Slave to Train Schedules? The working world is just around the corner. You'll soon land an interesting job and will have to decide the best way to get to work on time. Not everyone lives within walking distance of the office. So what will your commuting options be? What will they cost? And how should you stack them up against each other? Woody Allen once observed that "80 percent of success...

Automobile Safety & Security

drive safely and arrive alive Safety Automobile safety is often broken down into 2 categories. Here is a list of them and what they can include: Passive safety features include: Size and weight. The larger and heavier cars are safer in a collision than smaller and lighter cars. Restraint features like seatbelts. Airbags Active safety features include: Anti-lock brake system Traction...

Preparing For A Breakdown, your car just dies?

Preparing For A Breakdown, your car just dies? It happens to all of us at some point. Driving along, you think you can squeeze by another couple of miles on empty or, you just haven't seen a gas station in miles. Even worse, your car just dies. Try as you may to restart, the inevitable conclusion looms overhead: you're stranded. This is never a fun situation, but if you are prepared, you can get through it with...