According to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, The Honda Civic GX takes the gong. The Model is powered by compressed natural gas.
According to ACEEE’s Green Book, which compiled the list (now in its 14th edition), this year’s greenest vehicles were led by natural gas, electricity, conventional gas and hybrid. The Greenest List also includes the first extended range electric vehicles.
The Honda Civic GX topped the list for the 8th year. It was followed by the all-eletric Nissan Leaf and the Smart ForTwo, which runs on gasoline. Green Book says a change in methodology “boosted other technologies” and says conventional gasoline cars have improved.
The next three spots were taken by hybrids which were followed by Ford’s new Fiesta SFE (Super Fuel Economy) and the Chevrolet Cruze Eco.
The Chevrolet Volt, an extended range electric vehicle, appears at number 12.
“Charged in areas of the country with cleaner power generation, the Leaf would easily be the greenest vehicle on the market today”, the report said, But it added that the model still needs to improve in terms of driving range.
“Vehicle running on electricity emit nothing from the tailpipe, but their ‘upstream’ emissions can be substantial, depending on where they’re charged. As U.S. power generation becomes cleaner, these vehicles’ scores will rise”, said ACEEE Transportation Director Therese Langer.
“When it comes to buying a new vehicle, the most environment-friendly step you can take is simple: first evaluate your needs and your budget, then look for the models with the greenest scores among the cars and trucks that meet your needs and fit your budget”, the report advises.
The documents also compiled as list of the ‘meanest’ cars, which was dominated by SUVs and heavy trucks. The Bugati Veyron won in this category with a Green Score of 19.
In order to score the cars, Green Book takes into account pollution from vehicle manufacturing, production and distribution of fuel and tailpipe emissions. It also counts air pollution, such as fine particles, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons and other pollutants according to the health problems caused by each pollutant.
Finally, it factors in greenhouse gases and combine the emissions estimates into a Green Score that runs on a scale from 0 to 100. The top vehicles this year score a 54, the average is 35 and the worst gas-guzzlers score around 18.
Article by Antonio Pasolini, a Brazilian writer and video art curator based in London, UK. He holds a BA in journalism and an MA in film and television.