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One rule that all clunked cars needed to adhere to was a maximum rating of 18 MPG from the federal government, right? What wasn't required was that the clunked car be considered dirty. After all, it's pretty clear that CNG vehicles burn clean, but that didn't stop 232 of them from meeting their sodium silicate solution-induced death.

We looked through the official, but as of yet unverified, list (PDF) of trade-in cars that were clunked using the Car Allowance Rebate System (Cash for Clunkers) and found that the aforementioned CNG vehicles, 1,779 flex-fuel vehicles and 24 LPG vehicles found their way to the recycler thanks to CARS. Which alternative-fuel models were most dumped? Which single hybrid took a dive? Click above for our top ten and check out the full list after the jump.

Photo by dno1967. Licensed under Creative Commons license 2.0.

Breakdown by model:

Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD 4WD CNG - 5
Chevrolet Silverado 15 Hybrid 2WD - 1
Chevrolet Silverado 2500 2WD (Bifuel) - 1
Ram Van 2500 2WD CNG - 1
Ram Wagon 2500 2WD CNG - 2
Ford Crown Victoria CNG - 2
Ford Crown Victoria FFV - 1
Ford E250 CNG - 7
Ford E250 Econoline 2WD CNG - 82
Ford Explorer 2WD FFV - 74
Ford Explorer 4WD FFV - 114
Ford Explorer Sport FFV 2WD - 10
Ford Explorer Sport FFV 4WD - 24
Ford Explorer Sport Trac FFV 2WD - 4
Ford Explorer Sport Trac FFV 4WD - 4
Ford F150 CNG - 27
Ford F150 Dual-fuel 2WD (CNG) - 14
Ford F150 Dual-fuel 2WD (LPG) - 8
Ford F150 Dual-fuel 4WD (CNG) - 5
Ford F150 Dual-fuel 4WD (LPG) - 16
Ford F150 Pickup 2WD CNG - 27
Ford F150 Pickup FFV 2WD - 1
Ford F250 Pickup 2WD CNG - 59
Ford Ranger FFV 2WD - 1026
Ford Ranger FFV 4WD - 383
GM Sierra 2500 HD 4WD CNG - 1
GMC Sonoma 2WD (FFV) - 2
Mazda B3000 (FFV) Ethanol 2WD - 13
Mazda B3000 2WD FFV - 1
Mazda B3000 FFV 2WD - 2
Mazda B3000 FFV 4WD - 51
Mercury Grand Marquis FFV - 10
Mercury Mountaineer 2WD FFV - 18
Mercury Mountaineer 4WD FFV - 40





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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 23 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Most of these alternative fuel vehicles were really "Dual Fuel Vehicles" that could burn the alternative fuel or gasoline. They had both CNG or Propane tanks as well as a gasoline tank.

      In reality many of these vehicle ran on gasoline more than 90% of their lifetime.

      These vehicles were a joke in Arizona as the buyers received tax incentives and could drive in the car pool lane, but they never once put alternative fuel in the tank.

      I'm glad to see these vehicles go.......

        • 4 Months Ago
        It was rather stupid of them not to use the CNG or LPG, as those fuels cost a lot less than gasoline does. But then, it was also rather stupid of the Arizona legislature to pass such a poorly crafted bill.
      • 5 Years Ago
      CNG is most often a storage medium, not enough of it is found naturally. It is usually extracted using fossil fuels. It is similar to electric cars. You are just externalizing the problem and emissions do occur, just not at the tailpipe.

      I agree that flex fuel is just marketing hype. Ethanol is not the solution for most places, especially when it comes from corn, which may not have a net positive impact on power or emissions. We are most likely externalizing pollution at the farm and transportation level.
        • 4 Months Ago
        I think you're thinking of hydrogen, Joel. CNG stands for compressed natural gas, and, though it's been compressed for storage in the fuel tank, natural gas (methane) is still abundant globally. Unlike oil, it's expensive and energy-intensive to transport natural gas around the world because of its gaseous nature. Typically, it's supercooled to turn the gas into a liquid.

        Also, natural gas isn't derived from fossil fuels, it is a fossil fuel.
        • 4 Months Ago
        Natural gas is the only fossil fuel which also has a renewable source. It is clean burning and less expensive than gasoline, the only drawbacks for automotive use is the difficulty of storing enough gas under pressure to give sufficient range, and the limited number of public CNG dispensers available.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Silverado Hybrid??? That's a recent vehicle, how could it end up in the C4C?

      It's a mistake, this can't be real.
        • 4 Months Ago
        There's also the possibility that people are just that stupid. We had many people come into the dealership that were disappointed that their cars were worth more than 4500 and they could get say, 5500 from the dealership as a regular trade but couldn't take the governments money instead. If a dealership wasn't really on the up and up they could just fudge the numbers or just not push the dealer trade option and have a more expensive car get trashed.

        silly for the bottom line, but I could absolutely see it as possible.
        • 4 Months Ago
        Did the C4C trade-ins have to be drivable? Maybe if it had major crash damage or mechanical problems it would've been worth turning in for $4500. Even then, it's hard to believe a totalled Silverado hybrid has less then $4500 salvage value.
        • 4 Months Ago
        The original version of the Silverado "Hybrid" was of the Belt Assist System type that is little more than a start/stop device.

        It didn't appear to be too GREEN in at least one owners case.

        "Over the truck's 15,000 miles, we averaged 14.3 mpg, getting a best of 15.2 on several long hauls. "

        They did seem to love the 110V outlet.

        ( http://www.trucktrend.com/roadtests/oneyear/163_0512_2004_chevrolet_silverado_hybrid/specs.html)
        • 4 Months Ago
        Maybe it was stolen, or was involved in a divorce.
        • 4 Months Ago
        IIRC, the first Silverado "hybrid" was issued back in 2005 and used a 36 volt starter/generator, different than the later "Belt Alternator/starter" used on the Malibu. It improved fuel economy by just 1 mpg, from 15 to 16 mpg. The only real selling feature was the ability to provide 110 volt AC for contractors working on a jobsite. Sales were not exactly impressive, and it was quietly discontinued 2 years later.

        The current Silverado hybrid is based on the GM Dual Mode hybrid system, with a much more substantial improvement in fuel economy to 20 mpg.
        • 4 Months Ago
        I believe it's main purpose was to provide power at the work site. Getting a 1-2mpg improvement was simply a side benefit.
        • 4 Months Ago
        may have been a registered (driveable?) wreck
      • 5 Years Ago
      CNG is also not green, slightly worse in some respects, actually
        • 4 Months Ago
        Actually, CNG burns more cleanly than gasoline, with lower unburned HC and lower CO and even lower CO2 emissions. But running in a "less that 18 mpg equivalent" engine isn't exactly efficient or green. There is also the energy required to compress the gas that must be taken into account.

        Another problem with that low efficiency is that the range would be rather short, though that doesn't really affect it's "greenness". .
      • 4 Months Ago
      The cars' propulsion systems and fuel economies are secondary to the impact of the manufacturing economy that C4C was devised to boost. How energy-intensive is the manufacturing process? It's no coincidence that nobody's suggested long service-life vehicles as a common-sense solution: carmakers have come to base their business models on four-year leases, disposable cars sold on styling and add-ons, and which meet the CAFE and safety standards of the day. It would take a bold company to shift toward pragmatic, long-life designs with a focus on serviceability rather than styling, with a greater proportion of the profit mix coming from more efficient after-sales service, parts and retrofit operations.
      • 4 Months Ago
      I suspect that most people who drive "flex fuel" vehicles have never pumped E-85 in their life, and many of those people have never seen an E-85 pump. So, who's at fault here? The automaker? The fuel companies? The government? The consumers? All of the above?
      • 5 Years Ago
      So if you turn in a
      • 5 Years Ago
      Confusing the original marketing hype for these cars with reality and calling them green does no one a favor. Any car that cannot get better than 18 mpg is not green.Flex fuel with ethanol has been shown to be not green and is just a farm subsidy based on bad science. And GM's alternator/motor hybrid is a joke.
        • 4 Months Ago
        More goalpost-moving revisionism, I see.

        Nothing will ever be green enough, since the eventual goal of all Memory-Hole-addicted Democrats is to outlaw vehicles for all who are not part of the Inner Party.
      • 4 Months Ago
      Wonder why people hate their CNG cars so much. Another reversal of green that reared its ugly head is that the second bailout money came directly from "The Solar Bail-out Kitty" I hope this isnt true. Maybe its just a rumour that was started by someone who hoped John won the 08' election?
      • 5 Years Ago
      How many people were actually running these vehicles on alternative fuels though? If they were just using regular gasoline there is definitely an environmental advantage to purchasing a new car.

      And if they were using alternative fuels and purchased a new flex-fuel car with improved MPG, then that would also be of environmental benefit.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So if you turn in a less than 18MPG CNG/Flex-Fuel/BAS "Hybrid" for a 50MPG AT-PZEV replacement, that's not grean? PLEASE!

      Looks like someone is grasping for a reasons to hate on C4C and getting to the long shot arguments!
    • Load More Comments
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