With plans already announced for hybrid versions of six of the 10 top-selling vehicles in the United States, a website run by a pressure group called 40mpg.org is urging Americans to "send a message to Detroit" by asking makers of vehicles with no planned hybrid derivatives to introduce such fuel-saving versions.

The organisation is asking consumers to pick three of the 10 best-selling vehicles in America with no publicly announced plans (as of May 15) to introduce hybrid models.

40mpg.org encourages higher fuel- efficiency standards for US vehicles and is a web-based campaign organised by the Results for America arm of the nonprofit and nonpartisan Civil Society Institute (CSI).

The 10 best-selling vehicles with no publicly announced hybrid plans are (in order of sales): Ford F-Series pick-ups; Toyota Corolla; Chevy Impala; Ford Explorer; Ford Taurus; Chevy Trailblazer; Jeep Grand Cherokee; Ford Focus; Chrysler Town&Country; and the Ford Econoline.

The six out of 10 top-selling U.S. vehicles with hybrids already available (or in the works) are (in terms of their non-hybrid overall U.S. vehicle sales ranking):  #2 Chevy Silverado (available now as a 2005 model in limited states); #3 Toyota Camry (hybrid version planned for 2007 model year); #4 Dodge Ram (hybrid production reportedly began in 2004-2005 winter); #6 Honda Accord (hybrid version came out for 2006 model year); #9 Nissan Altima (hybrid planned for 2007 model year) and #10 Honda Civic (hybrid version rolled out for model year 2003).

Civil Society Institute President Pam Solo said: "We are conducting this online poll for one simple reason: Detroit needs to get the message that it can't keep its head in the sand forever when it comes to vehicles achieving greater fuel efficiency.

"We have the technology, it is affordable and other nations are using it to overtake American automakers. Our economy depends on the auto industry for tens of thousands of jobs. Unfortunately, it is no coincidence that, of the six vehicles now available in hybrid version among the top 10 sellers in America, four are being offered by non-US automakers."

Solo added: "Our poll comes at a critical juncture for American automakers. It does no one any good to ignore the increasingly obvious facts: Detroit is allowing itself to be left behind as consumers embrace the new technology that can save them money at the pump, cut pollution and reduce our dangerous over-dependence on oil from the volatile Middle East."

40mpg.org said it recognises that the status of the auto industry's hybrid vehicle plans change and it is prepared to adjust the survey as new hybrid-introduction announcements are made by automakers.

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