The Toyota Prius C, a compact version of the Prius with a 53 mpg city and 46 mpg highway efficiency, received the highest green score with 58 points. The Honda Fit electric car was ranked in the No. 2 spot. The original Prius, Prius plug-in hybrid and the Honda Civic hybrid rounded out the vehicles with the five highest green scores.
Aggressive national fuel economy standards kicking in for model years 2012 to 2025 have helped push automakers to provide more efficient vehicles, ACEEE said.
This year, conventional vehicles were largely pushed off the Greenest list by hybrid-electic, plug-in hybrid-electric and all-electric vehicles. The Scion Iq and SmartForTwo are the only non-hybrid, non-plug-in vehicles to remain on the list. Even the eight-time first-place winner Honda Civic natural gas vehicle was pushed out of the top 12 in 2013, said ACEEE.
The Greenest list analyzes vehicles based on their “green score,” which incorporates tailpipe emissions, fuel consumption and emissions of greenhouse gases. Consumers can view the list on the ACEEE-sponsored site greenercars.org, which also allows users to view the eco-performance of any 2013 model.
A number of updates were made this year to the methodology to more accurately estimate vehicles’ environmental impacts, ACEEE said. These include updates to emissions from the vehicle manufacturing process; changes to gasoline, diesel and natural gas upstream emissions; and updates to the forecasted mix of fuels used to generate the electricity used to power electric cars.
The ACEEE also publishes a “meanest” list, highlighting the cars least friendly to the environment. This year a number of trucks pushed out European sports cars as the least environmentally friendly. The dirtiest vehicle for 2013 is the Ford F-350 FFV pickup truck with a green score of 17, followed by the Ford F-250 FFV and the Ford E-350 wagon.