Get Toyota To Bring Its Hybrid Minivan To America

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Sadly, the trend in the U.S. car market is on producing and importing hybrid models that focus on increased muscle rather than mileage. Well, it doesn’t have to be that way. The Union of Concerned Scientists says that Japanese families have a choice unavailable in America–a hybrid minivan with fuel economy as good as a compact car. They estimate that the Toyota Estima Hybrid could reach around 35 miles per gallon in the United State–a 50 percent improvement.

Even if you’re a minivanophobe (like me), you want to help get this car into the U.S. market. Here’s how. Toyota’s aiming to sell about 8,400 Estimas in Japan this year. We can show Toyota that the demand for more fuel-economy-focused hybrids is even stronger in America. Please sign the petition here, and get others to join you by May 28, 2007. The Union of Concerned Scientists will deliver your signatures to Toyota executives on Memorial Day–the unofficial start of the summer driving and higher gas price season. Just in time for the Toyota annual shareholders’ meeting.

Plus, there’s a contest and prizes. –Julia Whitty

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

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That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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