Most Fuel-Efficient Cars in America
Most Fuel-Efficient Cars in America
Electrified vehicles continue to be the most fuel efficient in America, and in 2020 there are more plug-in models to choose from than ever before. Considering the country’s relatively low gasoline prices, sales of pure electric cars remain a very small fraction of total vehicle sales, largely due to the primary drawbacks of electric cars — they can take a long time to charge and most have a limited driving range. All vehicles on this fuel-efficient list have some level of electrification, either as pure electric or a hybrid. What follows are the 27 most fuel-efficient cars in America according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ratings, sorted in ascending order by combined MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent, which measures the miles a vehicle can travel on the energy equivalent to a gallon of gasoline) or combined MPG.
24. 2021 Honda Insight (tie)
Starting MSRP: $22,930
EPA Rating (combined): 52 MPG
Range: 551 miles
The 2019 Honda Insight was the third Honda model to use the Insight name, beginning with the 2000 Insight hybrid, the first hybrid car ever sold in America, followed by the 2010 Insight that combined the aerodynamic profile of the original Insight with the front-end design of the hydrogen powered FCX Clarity. The 2021 Insight is a dedicated hybrid model positioned between the Civic and the Accord, powered by the third generation of Honda’s 2-motor hybrid system that combines a 1.5-liter Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine with a powerful 96 kW electric drive motor and a smaller generator motor to produce electricity. Total system output is 151 horsepower and the electric propulsion motor produces 129 horsepower and 197 lb-ft of torque. The Honda Insight is rated at 52 mpg combined and Insight Touring is rated 48 mpg combined
24. 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Blue (tie)
Starting MSRP: $25,750
EPA Rating (combined): 52 MPG
Range: 686 miles
The Hyundai Sonata has been redesigned for 2020, and the Sonata Hybrid is all new as well with 686 miles of range and an EPA-estimated 52 mpg combined fuel economy for the Sonata Hybrid Blue trim. The 2020 Sonata Hybrid is powered by a 2.0-liter engine producing 150 horsepower and 139 lb-ft of torque combined with a 39 kW electric motor producing 51 horsepower for a total system output of 192 horsepower. The Sonata Hybrid Blue is the most fuel-efficient version of the Sonata; other 2020 Sonata Hybrid trims are rated at 45 mpg city / 51 mpg highway / 47 mpg combined.
24. 2020 Toyota Camry Hybrid (tie)
Starting MSRP: $28,430
EPA Rating (combined): 52 MPG
Range: 686 miles
The Toyota Camry continued to be the best-selling passenger car in America in 2019, following a redesign for the 2018 model year with a more expressive exterior design. The Camry Hybrid is powered by a new generation Toyota Hybrid system that combines a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with a permanent-magnet electric motor for a combined output of 208 horsepower. The Camry Hybrid LE uses a lithium-ion battery back and achieves an EPA rating of 52 mpg combined — a 30 percent increase over the previous model. The Camry Hybrid XLE / SE are equipped with a nickel-metal hydride battery pack and rated at 44 mpg city / 47 mpg highway / 46 mpg combined — a 21 percent increase for combined mpg.
24. 2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid (tie)
Starting MSRP: $23,100
EPA Rating (combined): 52 MPG
Range: 593 miles
The Toyota Corolla sedan is redesigned for 2020, and for the first time ever a Corolla Hybrid is available for the U.S. market. The Corolla Hybrid adopts the latest Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive system from the new-generation Prius, combining a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine with two motor/generators and an electronically controlled planetary continuously variable transmission. The nickel-metal hydride battery is smaller and lighter because of new technology called hyper-prime nickel, which boosts battery performance in a smaller package, allowing the unit to be placed under the rear seat to avoid taking up trunk space. The Corolla Hybrid also has EV mode, which allows it to be operated on pure electric power for short distances.
23. 2020 Toyota Prius L Eco
Starting MSRP: $24,325
EPA Rating (combined): 56 MPG
Range: 633 miles
The fourth-generation Toyota Prius debuted for the 2016 model year, including the Prius Eco with an EPA combined fuel economy rating of 56 mpg. The latest version of Toyota’s first hybrid vehicle is powered by a Hybrid Synergy Drive that combines a 1.8-liter gasoline engine with two electric motor/generators and an electronically controlled planetary-type continuously variable transmission. The fourth-generation Prius uses smaller, lighter hybrid components and a lithium-ion battery pack for 2WD trims. Prius L Eco receives additional weight savings and is the most fuel-efficient version of the model line, with other Prius Hybrid 2WD trim levels rated at 52 mpg combined. For 2019 Toyota added the available AWD-e system with a second electric motor driving the rear wheels for AWD capability, rated at 50 mpg combined.
22. 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Blue Hybrid
Starting MSRP: $23,200
EPA Rating (combined): 58 MPG
Range: 690 miles
Hyundai introduced its new family of electrified vehicles called Ioniq in 2017 with the Ioniq Hybrid and Ioniq EV, followed by the Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid in 2018. With the latest in safety technology and an impressive list of standard features, the Ioniq offers more than simply great fuel economy. That said, it is the most fuel-efficient non-plug-in vehicle in America. The Ioniq’s 1.6-liter direct-injected 4-cylinder engine gets teamed with a 32-kW electric motor to generate a total of 139 horsepower. For 2020 Ioniq Hybrid receives exterior updates including a mesh grille; new front and rear bumpers; LED headlights, taillights and daytime running lights; new wheels and new side sill moldings. Inside, the 2020 Ioniq adds a new center LCD screen, available 10.25-inch touchscreen, a new instrument panel and touchscreen climate control. Ioniq Blue is the most fuel-efficient trim, rated at 58 mpg combined with the other trim levels at 55 mpg combined.
21. 2020 Porsche Taycan
Starting MSRP: $103,800
EPA Rating (combined): 69 MPGe
Range: 203 miles
The all-new Taycan is a 4-door sports car that offers all the performance expected of a Porsche — with a fully electric powertrain. Taycan’s design team made sure the new model is easily recognizable as a Porsche, with its sleek body and roofline that slopes toward the rear. Three versions are offered: Taycan 4S, Taycan Turbo and Taycan Turbo S, each powered by two electric motors — one at each axle — which also creates an advanced 4-wheel-drive system. The Taycan 4S produces up to 522 horsepower with the standard battery and up to 562 horsepower with the Performance Battery Plus. Taycan Turbo produces up to 670 horsepower and 626 lb-ft of torque, while the top-level Taycan Turbo S generates a staggering 750 horsepower and 774 lb-ft of torque, making it the most potent vehicle in the Porsche lineup. With maximum torque available almost immediately, acceleration will be eye-watering — the Taycan 4S will sprint to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, Taycan Turbo in 3.0 seconds, while the more powerful Turbo S will complete the same task in a mere 2.6 seconds.
20. 2020 Jaguar I-PACE
Starting MSRP: $69,850
EPA Rating (combined): 76 MPGe
Range: 234 miles
The all-new Jaguar I-PACE is a fully electric luxury crossover that delivers excellent on-road performance as well as off-road capability. The all-wheel-drive I-PACE is powered by two electric motors — one driving each axle — for a total output of 394 horsepower and 512 lb-ft of torque, which makes the I-PACE capable of accelerating from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. Drivers can choose a mode according to driving conditions that changes throttle response, suspension and steering — there is even a Rain / Ice / Snow mode. All I-PACE trims come well equipped with high levels of luxury, as well as the latest high-tech safety features including automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, rear cross-traffic monitor, traffic-sign recognition and clear exit monitor.
19. 2020 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
Starting MSRP: $45,845
EPA Rating (combined): 82 MPGe / 30 MPG
Electric Range: 32 miles
Total Range: 520 miles
The Chrysler Pacifica was redesigned for the 2017 model year when the Pacifica Hybrid was added — the first hybrid minivan for the U.S. market with a plug-in hybrid system offering 32 miles of electric range on a full charge at up to 75 mph. The hybrid powertrain combines the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and two electric motors integrated into the eFlite electrically-variable transmission system. Electricity is stored in a 16-kWh battery pack under the floor which eliminates the popular second-row Stow ‘n Go feature that allows the second row seats to fold into the floor, replaced by removable second-row seats. Chrysler debuted an updated 2021 Pacifica at the 2020 Chicago Auto Show, which is scheduled to go on sale in fall 2020. The 2021 Pacifica adds a new top-level Pinnacle trim, and the hybrid system will be offered as a powertrain option for all four trim levels.
18. 2020 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid
Starting MSRP: $35,145
EPA Rating (combined): 90 MPGe / 35 MPG
Electric Range: 17 miles
Total Range: 480 miles
The first-ever plug-in hybrid vehicle from Subaru, the Crosstrek Hybrid joined Subaru’s lineup as a 2019 model based on the top-level Crosstrek Limited trim. The Crosstrek Hybrid combines a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder boxer engine with a Lineartronic CVT and two integrated motor/generators for up to 17 miles of electric range at speeds up to 65 mph with an EPA rating of 90 MPGe. The Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is designed for a PHEV with an electronically-controlled variable transfer clutch. The onboard charging system will charge the 8.8-kWh lithium-ion battery in five hours with 120-volt power, and in approximately two hours with 240 volts.
17. 2020 Kia Optima PHEV
Starting MSRP: $36,090
EPA Rating (combined): 101 MPGe / 41 MPG
Electric Range: 28 miles
Total Range: 630 miles
The first plug-in hybrid model offered by Kia, the Optima Plug-In Hybrid is available in the well-equipped EX trim only. The stylish sedan comes standard with leather trim, heated front seats, a premium audio system and is available with the latest advanced safety features. Powering the Optima Plug-In is a 2.0-liter gasoline engine teamed with the electrical power of a transmission-mounted 66-horsepower electric motor for a total output of 202 horsepower. Electricity is stored in a 9.8 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack that delivers a range of 28 miles in EV mode, with a total driving range of 630 miles.
16. 2020 Ford Fusion Energi
Starting MSRP: $35,000
EPA Rating (combined): 103 MPGe / 42 MPG
Electric Range: 26 miles
Total Range: 610 miles
Ford’s midsize Fusion sedan is expected to be phased out of the Ford lineup, but once again finished 2019 as the best-selling American-brand passenger sedan in the U.S. Available with a standard gasoline powertrain, as a hybrid, or as the Energi plug-in hybrid, Fusion received a refreshed exterior for 2019 and for 2020 the Fusion Energi is offered exclusively as the top-level Titanium trim. The Energi features a 141-horsepower 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle engine, an electronic continuously variable transmission and a 118-horse electric motor, which draws power from a 7.6 kWh lithium-ion battery. Total output for the advanced hybrid powertrain is 188 horsepower, which is more than the standard gasoline powertrain on the non-hybrid Fusion. Fusion Energi is equipped with Ford Co-Pilot360 that features an array of advanced safety features including automatic emergency braking and cross-traffic alert.
15. 2020 Kia Niro PHEV
Starting MSRP: $29,490
EPA Rating (combined): 105 MPGe / 46 MPG
Electric Range: 26 miles
Total Range: 560 miles
For the 2020 model year Niro Plug-In Hybrid receives styling updates including new front and rear fascias, a new diamond-pattern grille, dual chevron-shaped LED running lights, new fog lights, updated projector headlights, new rear LED combination lights and a new 16-inch wheel design. Power comes from a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine teamed with a 60-horsepower electric motor for a total combined output of 139 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. The electric motor is powered by an 8.9 kWh lithium-Ion polymer battery pack that allows up to 26 miles of electric-only driving. Niro PHEV has the same 6-speed dual-clutch transmission as Niro with four drive modes: EV, Hybrid, Eco or Sport. The higher capacity battery is stored under the cargo floor and rear seat, retaining the same amount of cargo capacity as the Niro Hybrid.
14. 2020 Tesla Model X Standard Range
Starting MSRP: $84,990
EPA Rating (combined): 101 MPGe
Range: 258 miles
The first production electric SUV on the market, the Tesla Model X Standard Range is rated at 101 MPGe with an EPA-estimated driving range of 258 miles. The Model X Long Range offers a 328-mile range and is rated at 96 MPGe, and Model X Performance is rated at 90 MPGe with a range of 305 miles. The Model X versions are powered by dual motors providing power at both axles for all-wheel drive. Model X Performance will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 2.6 seconds, and Model X Long Range will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds with a top speed of 155 mph. Adaptive air suspension is standard; the Model X offers seating for seven, with access to the rear seat via top-hinged Falcon Wing doors. Thanks to the absence of an internal combustion engine, the Model X has a large front trunk in addition to a rear cargo area.
13. 2020 MINI Cooper SE
Starting MSRP: $29,900
EPA Rating (combined): 108 MPGe
Range: 110 miles
The new all-electric MINI SE is based on the 2-door hardtop, powered by an electric motor producing 135 kW (181 horsepower) and 199 lb-ft of torque. The MINI Cooper SE is rated at 108 MPGe with a range of 110 miles and will accelerate from zero to 62 mph in 7.3 seconds. The high-voltage 32.6 kWh lithium-ion battery pack is positioned in the floor so the MINI Cooper SE retains the same cargo capacity as the MINI 2-door hardtop. The MINI Cooper SE is distinguished from other MINI models by the closed grille with yellow accents, yellow mirrors, a unique rear apron, and 16-inch MINI Electric Revolite Spoke alloy wheels, or optional 17-inch asymmetrical design MINI Electric Corona Spoke two-tone alloy wheels. Standard equipment includes LED headlights, two-zone automatic air-conditioning, heating with heat pump technology, auxiliary heating, an electric parking brake and connected navigation.
12. 2020 Honda Clarity PHEV
Starting MSRP: $33,400
EPA Rating (combined): 110 MPGe / 42 MPG
Electric Range: 48 miles
Total Range: 340 miles
Honda now offers an entire family of Clarity models, including the EV, Fuel Cell and plug-in hybrid. The 2020 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid features a 181-horsepower electric motor powered by a 17-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. When the battery has been exhausted, a 1.5-liter Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder engine generates electricity for the motor as well as to recharge the batteries. Under certain conditions the gas engine can contribute power to the front wheels as needed. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid offers three selectable driving modes: Normal, Econ and Sport, so drivers can choose between optimal economy or improved performance.
10. 2019 Nissan LEAF (tie)
Starting MSRP: $31,600
EPA Rating (combined): 111 MPGe
Range: 149 miles
The LEAF was one of the first mainstream electric vehicles sold in America when introduced in 2011, and was redesigned for 2018. The second generation LEAF received a fresh new look including a roomier interior as well as better performance and efficiency. The Nissan LEAF is equipped with a high-response 110-kW AC synchronous electric motor producing 147 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. The power supply is a new 40-kWh laminated lithium-ion battery made up of 192 cells generating 33 percent more energy than the outgoing model. This gives the LEAF a range of 149 miles, and with a DC fast charger a 30-minute charge will provide almost 90 miles of driving. In 2019 Nissan added the LEAF Plus with a 160 kW motor producing 214 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque, combined with a 62 kWh battery pack for a range of up to 226 miles.
10. 2018 Tesla Model S Long Range (tie)
Starting MSRP: $75,990
EPA Rating (combined): 111 MPGe
Range: 373 miles
A unique alt-fuel vehicle in the American marketplace, the Model S was the first luxury electric vehicle on the market, offering impressive performance and driving range in an attractive electric sedan. The first 4-seat vehicle from Tesla, following the Tesla Roadster, the Model S is the flagship model of the Tesla lineup that now includes the smaller Model 3 sedan and two crossover models. The 2020 Tesla Model S is offered in Standard Range, Long Range and Performance versions; the Model S Long Range is the most efficient with an EPA rating of 111 MPGe and a driving range of 373 miles, followed by the Standard Range at 109 MPGe and 287 miles of driving. Model S Performance will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 2.3 seconds; it has an EPA rating of 104 MPGe and a range of 348 miles.
9. 2020 Kia Niro Electric
Starting MSRP: $38,500
EPA Rating (combined): 112 MPGe
Range: 239 miles
Following the introduction of the Niro hybrid a few years back, Kia added the Niro PHEV in 2018 and the Niro Electric for 2019. For 2020 the Niro Electric receives updated headlights and revised rear LED combination lights. Inside, the EX adds a new 8-inch screen and the Premium EX receives a 10.25-inch screen. Offering the functionality of a typical compact crossover, the Niro EV utilizes a liquid-cooled 64kWh lithium-ion polymer battery stored under the floor so cabin space is unaffected. The Niro EV gets motivation from an electric motor that produces 201 horsepower and a strong 291 lb-ft of torque that comes on instantly for great acceleration. Since electric cars run silently, Kia has given the Niro EV an artificial sound described as a “techy whirring noise.” While this does make the Niro EV sound pretty cool, the noise is actually designed as a safety feature to alert pedestrians to the car’s presence.
8. 2020 BMW i3
Starting MSRP: $44,450
EPA Rating (combined): 113 MPGe
Range: 153 miles
BMW’s electric i3 has been on the market since 2014, and for 2019 the innovative little car was updated with a larger 120 Ah battery. With more juice on tap, the i3 can now travel almost double the range it had when first introduced. Built on an aluminum frame with a carbon fiber body, the i3 has a unique interior featuring rear-hinged rear doors for easy access to all seating positions. Power comes from a 170-horsepower electric motor that delivers a zero-to-60 mph time of just over 7 seconds. A new i3s joined the lineup for 2019, powered by a 181-horsepower electric motor for a zero-to-60 time of 6.8 seconds thanks to sportier chassis tuning and more responsive performance.
7. 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV
Starting MSRP: $36,620
EPA Rating (combined): 118 MPGe
Range: 259 miles
Chevrolet introduced the innovative Bolt EV three years ago as a 2017 model, and the fun-to-drive compact sedan offers impressive driving range for a vehicle of its price. The Bolt EV is powered by a 150-kW electric motor producing 200 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque, delivering acceleration from zero to 60 mph in less than 7 seconds. Electricity gets stored in a 288-cell 66-kWh lithium-ion flat battery pack that resides under the length of the Bolt’s floor. A 7.2 kW onboard charger is standard for charging from a 240-volt wall box and will provide 50 miles of range in 2 hours. An available DC Fast Charging system will charge the battery to 90 miles of range in 30 minutes.
6. 2020 Hyundai Ioniq PHEV
Starting MSRP: $26,500
EPA Rating (combined): 119 MPGe / 52 MPG
Electric Range: 29 miles
Total Range: 630 miles
In 2017 Hyundai introduced its new family of electrified vehicles called Ioniq. Initially available as a hybrid or pure EV, the Ioniq added a plug-in hybrid variant for 2018. For 2020 Ioniq PHEV receives exterior updates including a mesh grille; new front and rear bumpers; LED headlights, taillights and daytime running lights; new wheels and new side sill moldings. Inside, the 2020 Ioniq PHEV adds a new 8-inch infotainment display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as an available 10.25-inch navigation system. The small but versatile sedan features a 1.6-liter Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder engine teamed with a 44.5-kW electric motor to produce a combined 139 horsepower. The 8.9 kWh battery pack provides enough energy for up to 29 miles of electric-only driving. Unlike many of its competitors, the Ioniq uses a 6-speed dual-clutch gearbox to provide a more engaging drive than the typical continuously-variable transmissions found in most electric and hybrid vehicles.
5. 2020 Hyundai Kona Electric
Starting MSRP: $37,190
EPA Rating (combined): 120 MPGe
Range: 258 miles
Following the introduction of the stylish Kona crossover in 2018, Hyundai introduced a pure-electric version. The Kona Electric features a powerful yet efficient electric drivetrain and a comfortable, roomy interior. The drivetrain features a 150-kW electric motor that produces 201 horsepower and 291 lb-ft of torque, and a high-voltage 64 kWh lithium-ion battery. Kona Electric uses a Level-II onboard charging system capable of a 7.2 kW rate of charge for rapid recharging. An 80 percent charge can be achieved in 54 minutes with a Level-III quick charge using the SAE-Combo charging port, while a 7.2 kW Level-II charger takes 9 hours and 35 minutes. The Kona Electric features aerodynamic body enhancements and LED headlights, taillights and daytime running lights. For 2020 Kona Electric offers an enhanced premium navigation system and a battery warmer.
4. 2020 Tesla Model Y Performance AWD
Starting MSRP: $52,990
EPA Rating (combined): 121 MPGe
Range: 315 miles
The newest model in the Tesla lineup, the Model Y Performance AWD moves directly to the top of the charts as the most fuel-efficient crossover sold in America, with an EPA combined rating of 121 MPGe. Smaller than Model X, Model Y offers optional third-row seating and up to seven occupants. The dual-motor system provides torque to both the front and rear axles for all-wheel-drive capability. According to Tesla, Model Y will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and has a top speed of 145 mph. The EPA-estimated range is 315 miles, and according to Tesla the Model Y can recharge up to 158 miles in 15 minutes at a Supercharger location.
2. 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Electric (tie)
Starting MSRP: $33,045
EPA Rating (combined): 133 MPGe
Range: 170 miles
The electric version of Hyundai’s Ioniq was the fuel-economy champ in America for two years in a row, but drops to a tie for second this year. For 2020 Ioniq Hybrid receives an exterior design refresh with a new pattern for the closed grille, new interior design, added infotainment technology and Hyundai SmartSense active safety features and driving assistance systems. Interior updates include a new available 10.25-inch widescreen navigation system, a new center LCD information screen, a new instrument panel, dark chrome trim and touchscreen heating and cooling controls. The 2020 IONIQ Electric receives a battery upgrade from 28 kWh to 38.3 kWh for an additional 36 percent energy storage capacity and an estimated range of 170 miles. The electric motor produces 134 horsepower and 218 lb-ft of torque; a 7.2-kW onboard charger is standard. Using a 100-kW fast-charging station, the battery can reach 80 percent charge in as little as 54 minutes.
2. 2020 Toyota Prius Prime (tie)
Starting MSRP: $27,900
EPA Rating (combined): 133 MPGe / 54 MPG
Electric Range: 25 miles
Total Range: 640 miles
Shortly after the introduction of an all-new Prius, Toyota came to market with the plug-in version called Prius Prime. With a design that sets it apart from the standard Prius, the Prime uses a larger 8.8 kWh battery pack that provides an electric-only driving range of 25 miles. The Prius Prime uses the same basic powertrain as the standard Prius — except for a larger battery. The hybrid system consists of a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder gas engine producing 95 horsepower teamed with two electric motors for a total power of 121 horsepower — the same as the standard Prius. The battery can be fully charged in two hours using a 240-volt power source, or in approximately 5.5 hours using a standard household outlet. For 2020 Prius Prime adds an available fifth seat in the rear as well as standard SirusXM, Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa compatibility.
1. 2020 Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus
Starting MSRP: $39,990
EPA Rating (combined): 141 MPGe
Range: 250 miles
The third model in the Tesla lineup following the Model S and Model X, the Model 3 sedan is smaller and more affordable than the flagship Model S from the American car company. With a bold level of standard equipment and sleek styling that befits the rest of the Tesla lineup, the more economical Model 3 was designed for high-volume sales. Although the Model 3’s standard battery delivers a 220-mile range and an EPA rating of 131 MPGe, the version found most efficient by the EPA is the Standard Range Plus, which features the larger battery that bumps the range up to 250 miles. Also offered are the Mid Range rated at 123 MPGe with a 264-mile range, and Long Range at 130 MPGe with a 330-mile range. Standard models are rear-wheel drive, and dual-motor AWD versions are offered as Long Range and Long Range Performance. Model 3 Long Range Performance will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds.
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