Southern California environment news and trends

Prius for the rest of us? Toyota introduces new C class for less than $19,000

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Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images

With the 2012 North American Auto Show in full swing, automakers are showing more green features and vehicles than ever. From concepts like Volkswagon’s electric Beetle (coined the E-Bugster) to Ford rolling out the much-ballyhooed Fusion update, it’s quickly becoming the greenest show to date.

The big news from the show floor today comes from Toyota, who introduced the new Prius C, a stylish subcompact hatchback that promises up to 53 MPG for around $19,000.

The “C” is for city; given the car’s ability to travel short distances in all-electric mode means it will get the better gas mileage in the city (the aforementioned 53 MPG) than on the highway, where mileage tops out at 46 MPG.

At those prices, we hope they plan on producing a lot of them. The Prius C seems like the ideal vehicle for tooling around Los Angeles, where they’re sure to sell like the proverbial hotcakes.


Green is the new black at 2012 Detroit Auto Show

Scott Olson/Getty Images

DETROIT - JANUARY 10: Honda executive John Mendel introduces the new Civic concept during the press preview of the North American International Auto Show at the Cobo Center on January 10, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The 2012 North American Auto Show kicked off in Detroit today, and according to early reports it’s greener than ever.

Ford put on a glitzy presentation, rolling out the new Ford Fusion, which boasts up to 100 MPG and a new more fuel-efficient EcoBoost engine that allows emits fewer greenhouse gasses. Ford also announced plans to increase hybrid/electric vehicle production threefold to over 100,000 by 2012.

Honda debuted the new Jetta Hybrid, which will come with a special button that allows drivers to take it up to 43 MPH and cover over a mile on electricity alone. They presented the sure-to-be-popular concept all-electric VW Beetle, called the E-Bugster.

Stay tuned for more updates on the 2012 North American Auto Show throughout the week.