Size: 10, 185k
Date: February 6, 2009
David Sternberg (EPA Host): We are here on the floor of the Philadelphia Auto Show at the Philadelphia Convention Center where EPA is promoting the SmartWay Program.
This is David Sternberg of the EPA speaking on Environment Matters, our series of environmental podcasts. We're here with Cathy Magliocchetti of EPA's Air Protection Division and Kevin Mazzucola, Executive Director of the Auto Dealers of Greater Philadelphia. Kathy, what's the most important thing for people to know about SmartWay.
Cathy Magliocchetti, EPA: EPA is partning with vehicle manufactures to help consumers identify those vehicles that are the most fuel-efficient and least polluting vehicles on the road today. SmartWay is hopefully going to be a brand that consumers associate as excellence in the transportation industry. The SmartWay mark will let people know that these are vehicles will help save them money at the pump and also pollute less when they are on the road.
David Sternberg: So these tend to be the smaller, more fuel-efficient cars?
Cathy Magliocchetti: Actually, the surprising thing is that even if you are looking for a larger size sedan, a pick-up truck or even a sport utility vehicle, there are Smartway Leaf choices in each vehicle class. So the consumer should feel free to choose the size vehicle that they need. And then if they are looking for more environmentally-friendly choices they can visit our website and use our interactive Green vehicle guide. And that will help point the consumer to the best choices in each vehicle class. So it's not just the small cars but also larger vehicles that qualified for SmartWay certification.
David Sternberg: So why is EPA doing it this way, as suppose to just going for the smaller, more fuel efficient cars and hybrids?
Cathy Magliocchetti: Well I think EPA recognized long ago that consumers demand choices especially when you are talking about vehicles choices. They are looking for vehicles that suit their needs whether it's hauling freight in the back of their pick-up truck or driving kids around in the mini-van. So EPA really made a concerted effort to look at the best vehicles available in each class that would maximize fuel economy and decrease emissions coming out of the tail pipe. And so that's why you can find Smartway Certification no matter what size vehicle you are looking for.
David Sternberg: So Kevin, why is it important to have green cars at the Auto Show?
Kevin Mazzucola, Executive Director of the Automobile Dealers Association of Greater Philadelphia. Petroleum and the combustible engine is something that technology is moving away from to increase the miles per gallon and lower emissions. We've seen that technology make amazing leaps and bounds over the last four or five years. I believe the consumers now understand that the low gas prices are probably not going to last that long and that we will see it continue to move upward again.
David Sternberg: What do you see as the future in green cars?
Kevin Mazzucola: One is the hybrid technology, the other is plug-in hybrids, where you are basically running on electricity for at least a certain amount of time, you also have diesel. Diesel is proven technology with low emissions and you're seeing more and more products that will be available to the consumers in that technology.
David Sternberg: So, if I am not in the market for a new car right now are there thing right now that I can do to improve fuel efficiency?
Cathy Magliocchetti: Sure, EPA recommends that you keep your vehicle well maintained. You should engage in regular tune-ups. Keep your air filter changed regularly and also keeping your tires properly inflated will all help to keep your fuel efficiency maximized. Also when you are driving, if you can refrain from some aggressive driving habits like jack-rabbit starts, hard accelerations and hard braking all those things detract from fuel economy so if you can avoid those things and drive like there is an egg underneath your pedal that's a good vision to keep in mind to maximize your fuel efficiency.
David Sternberg: What else would you like people to know about SmartWay and fuel-efficiency in general?
Cathy Magliocchetti: If people are interested in getting more information they can visit EPA's website and go to the SmartWay page to find more information about either driving tips or they can use our Green Vehicle Guide if they are in the market for a new car and they can use the green vehicle guide to identify and rank those choices that are the best in each class.
David Sternberg: You can find this information on EPA's website at www.epa.gov/smartway.
Thanks for joining us on Environment Matters, our series of environmental podcasts.