It’s not surprising that hybrids and electric cars would dominate any list of top “greenest” vehicles, and that’s the case with the annual Greenest Vehicles list as compiled by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).
The non-profit focuses on advocating on the behalf of energy policies, and it released its 2016 list of Greenest Vehicles in late January.
There are 12 spots on the list, and electric vehicles took nine of those 12 spots. The Smart ForTwo Electric Drive secured the top slot on the list for the third straight year, with a score of 63 out of 100 – the highest on the list. It tied with the Chevrolet Spark EV.
As one might expect from an automaker that offers lots of hybrid options, Toyota did well, placing several Prius models on the list. Volkswagen’s e-Golf and the Kia’s Electric Soul were newcomers on the list.
There’s a method to the madness behind the list – ACEEE uses the results of automakers’ fuel economy and emissions tests, which are reported to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Pollution created during the manufacturing process and air pollution and health problems related to the car are also factored in, along with greenhouse emissions.
These factors combine for a “Green Score” of 0 to 100, with 40 being average.
The dominance of electric vehicles on this year’s list comes with a caveat. For the first time, the ACEEE restricted its list to include only hybrid or electric vehicles – nothing powered solely by an internal-combustion engine was included.
To balance things out, the ACEEE also has a list of the 12 “Meanest” vehicles, which features gas-guzzling exotics, pickups, and SUVs.
The lowest-scoring vehicle on the “mean” list? The Mercedes-Benz G65 AMG. Other vehicles on the list include the Bentley Mulsanne and the Toyota Tundra.
The full lists, with scores:
- Smart ForTwo Electric Drive Coupe and Convertible, 63
- Chevrolet Spark EV, 63
- Fiat 500E, 62
- Toyota Prius ECO, 61
- Volkswagen e-Golf, 61
- Nissan Leaf S/SV, 61
- Kia Soul Electric, 59
- Toyota Prius C, 59
- Toyota Prius, 58
- Ford Focus Electric, 57
- Chevrolet Volt, 56
- Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid, 56
- Mercedes-Benz G65 AMG, 20
- Chevrolet Express/GMC Savana (passenger), 22
- Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG, 22
- Bentley Mulsanne, 23
- Mercedes-Benz G550, 23
- Toyota Sequoia FFV, 25
- Ford Transit T150 Wagon FFV, 25
- Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG, 25
- Lexus LX 570, 26
- Bentley Continental GT/Flying Spur, 26
- Toyota Tundra, 26
- Mercedes-Benz GL550 4-MATIC, 26