The US Environmental Protection Agency has just updated its listing of automobile environmental ratings, with scores for air pollution and CO2 emissions. This time around, however, they've added a special tag for the vehicles that score best -- the "SmartWay" and "SmartWay Elite" labels -- to make it easier to pick out the overall greener vehicles from the EPA lists.
SmartWay Elite vehicles are those that score near the top in both categories (9 points out of 10); currently, the only vehicles so rated are the Prius, the Honda Civic Hybrid and the Honda Insight.
The real value of the list, however, is for people who have decided that a hybrid is too expensive. Although no non-hybrids made the Elite rank, several gasoline-only cars came close, including some models that cost significantly less than a Prius or HCH.
Of course the hybrid cars you mentioned are also "gasoline-only". Only a plug-in hybrid could be considered a true gasoline OR electric vehicle.
Please don't muddy the waters any more than necessary ;-)
Well, yes and no. Yes, in the sense that the only external fuel/energy source for hybrids is gasoline. No, in that the motive power for hybrids is not exclusively gasoline; the vehicles also move from electricity generated on-board through regenerative braking, coasting and similar functions. A hybrid that had solar cells to recharge its batteries wouldn't be plugged in, but wouldn't logically be called "gasoline-only," would it?
Moreover, "gasoline-only" is a pretty commonplace way of distinguishing older car types from hybrids.
I see your point, however, and fully agree that plug-in/gas-optional hybrids are the way to go.