This is the third year Mercedes’ Smart ForTwo Electric Drive, an all-electric, two-seater has won the top spot on the Greenest List. Also this year Mercedes’ SUV, the G65 AMG, tops the Meanest List, which designates the vehicles with the worst fuel economy and emissions performance.
For the first time ever, the Greenest List is completely populated by plug-in and hybrid vehicles; not a single vehicle with only an internal combustion engine appears. ACEEE says this is partly due to the disappearance from the American market of a few of the longstanding entries on the Greenest List, including the Honda Civic Natural Gas.
The newest additions to the list are the Volkswagen eGolf and the Kia’s Soul electric vehicle, which claim the no. 5 and no. 7 spots respectively. This year marks the first time a Kia vehicle has earned a top spot since 2009. The greenest list including two American manufacturers.
The Meanest List (see below) this year is comprised of one pickup, heavier medium-duty vehicles, and a handful of European sports cars that are the least friendly to the environment. Vehicles with very low sales units are omitted from this list, and this year Class 2b pickups weighing above 8,500 lbs. were not rated.
Greenercars.org describes the methodology for rating the eco-performance of any 2016 model. The site assigns each vehicle a Green Score, a single measure that incorporates lifecycle greenhouse gas and criteria pollutant emissions. Updates to this year’s methodology include new estimates of emissions from fuel sourcing, transportation, and distribution as well as Clean Power Plan adjustments to electricity emissions.