Greenest cars: Natural gas Honda Civic GX, Nissan Leaf electric and, just barely, Chevrolet Volt

Feb 21, 2011 By Tiffany Hsu

For a list of the greenest 2011 model-year vehicles, there sure are a lot of traditional gasoline engines among the top 12 cars ranked by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

The council's 14th annual ratings of the most eco-friendly cars on the market include internal combustion models such as the Smart Fortwo, the Ford Fiesta and the Hyundai Elantra.

The natural gas-powered Honda Civic GX topped the list for an eighth straight year, with a score of 54, followed by the new all-electric . Other vehicles considered to be the greenest of the crop included the hybrid and the hybrid electric , which squeaked into the last spot.

The electric version of the Smart Fortwo would have pulled in a score of 60, but with only 250 units of the 2011 model available in the U.S. (and then only on a trial basis), the car didn't meet sales requirements for the list.

"Vehicles running on electricity emit nothing from the tailpipe, but their 'upstream' emissions can be substantial, depending on where they're charged," said Therese Langer, the organization's director. "As U.S. power generation becomes cleaner, these vehicles' scores will rise."

The battery manufacturing and disposal processes - which can be emissions-laden and toxic - also were factored into the calculations and knocked electricity-dependent vehicles down a few rungs.

Diesel vehicles missed out entirely. Other talked-about cars, such as the electric Tesla Roadster, didn't make the cut.

The list of gas guzzlers - known as the "meanest" - included heavy trucks and sport utility vehicles instead of the rash of European sports cars that has dominated in the past. Still, the Bugatti Veyron, one of the most expensive cars in the world, led with a score of 19.

Explore further: Is nuclear power the only way to avoid geoengineering?

More information: See the full list at www.greenercars.org/highlights-greenest.htm

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User comments : 8

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soulman
5 / 5 (1) Feb 22, 2011
Other talked-about cars, such as the electric Tesla Roadster, didn't make the cut.

Why not?
kaasinees
1 / 5 (1) Feb 22, 2011
Really? Prius but not Tesla Roadster? The list is biased.
Nyloc
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 22, 2011
welcome to our website:
=== W W W - Lttsy - c o m ===

Look, "Lttsy - com", you're abusing this science website by sneaking in your spam ads. You do nothing but despoil the products you're trying to hawk, annoy people, and do yourself a disservice.

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KillerKopy
1 / 5 (1) Feb 22, 2011
This is just my personal opinion. All the cars on this list are really gay and over priced.
Eikka
1 / 5 (1) Feb 22, 2011
Other talked-about cars, such as the electric Tesla Roadster, didn't make the cut.

Why not?


Because not that many people can own them. It's not really a people's car with so few of them manufactured, and with the high pricetag.
chinaeu
1 / 5 (2) Feb 22, 2011
here is our electric car:
electric-car.chinaeu.de
that_guy
1 / 5 (1) Feb 22, 2011
Other talked-about cars, such as the electric Tesla Roadster, didn't make the cut.

Why not?


Because not that many people can own them. It's not really a people's car with so few of them manufactured, and with the high pricetag.

and once you consider the carbon/pollution from the manufacturing process, and for the amount of electricity it uses...It doesn't have a profile worthy of making the top. Don't get me wrong, it's a good environmentally sound car - it's just that to make it a sports car, they have to make compromises to keep it from the top of the list.
lengould100
not rated yet Apr 12, 2011
What about the Volkswagen Golf Wagon with TDI diesel and 6-speed DN automatic? 4.6 litres / 100 km, = 51.3 mpg. Beats heck out of a stupid little Honda that you can't even get into.

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