Did Your Car Make the List?

Today, the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy released its list of the ‘greenest’ and ‘meanest’ cars on the market. Each car the Council evaluated received a score of 1-100, according to its mileage and emissions levels.

The top 10 greenest vehicles of 2007, according to the report:

  1. Honda Civic GX (Overall green score: 57)
  2. Toyota Prius (Overall green score: 55)
  3. Honda Civic Hybrid (Overall green score: 53)
  4. Nissan Altima Hybrid (Overall green score: 48)
  5. Toyota Yaris (Overall green score: 47)
  6. Toyota Corolla (Overall green score: 46)
  7. Toyota Camry Hybrid (Overall green score: 46)
  8. Honda Fit (Overall green score: 45)
  9. Kia Rio (Overall green score: 45)
  10. Hyundai Accent (Overall green score: 45)

Here’s how the scoring works, according to a Boston Globe piece on the report:

The council uses fuel economy, emissions, and vehicle weight to create a formula that ranks vehicles from 0-100 with a score above 50 needed to gain a spot near the top of the list.

For instance, the Toyota Prius, with estimated fuel economy of 60 miles per gallon in city driving and 51 on the highway, earned a score of 55. By contrast, the Lincoln Navigator SUV, with a large V-8 engine and fuel economy of 13 miles per gallon in the city and 18 highway, was given a 20.

Kudos to the Japanese and Korean auto makers that made the ‘greenest’ list. But that hole where American manufacturers should be is so glaring we are donning our sunglasses. (Which also conveniently hide our tears of shame.)


=v= MPG ratings are bogus, particularly for hybrids. The government is going to rerate them all next year, and it's not going to look pretty. Meanwhile, this year's bogus ratings are being hyped to the skies. This is greenwash at its worst.

I wonder about considering both weight and fuel economy. What impact does weight have outside of having an effect on fuel economy? I'm worried the tiny cars are getting triple points for being tiny AND having good fuel economy because they are tiny AND having low emissions because they have good fuel economy because they are tiny.
Furthermore, aren't emissions almost the entire issue? Fuel economy is a concern because worse fuel economy = greater emissions under the same use conditions (miles traveled).
Compared to the impact of noxious emissions how much are we really worried about how much space the thing eventually takes up in the junkyard or how much of our energy reserves it sucks up?
If we are considering trash and conservation of resources shouldn't we also consider the scarcity, toxicity, and recyclability of the building materials?! Those hybrid battery banks are chock full of heavy metals!! What about the manufacturing practices?! AGH!!