And The 12 Greenest Cars On The Road Today Are…

3 months ago by Inside EVs Staff 65

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric is currently a region-limited (think CARB) offering

They’re all hybrids or EVs, of course. And, no, a Tesla is not among them.

Sure, gas remains relatively cheap. Even though many Americans have been trading in their fuel-sipping small cars for larger crossover SUVs and pickup trucks these days, there remains a core group of motorists who shop for a vehicle specifically with Mother Nature in mind. To that end, the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) compiles an annual list of what it considers the “greenest” cars of the year.

While the most environmentally friendly vehicles also tend to be among the most fuel-efficient models in dealers’ showrooms, the ACEEE’s ratings are based on more than just the amount of fuel a given vehicle consumes and the estimated volume of its tailpipe emissions. They take a “cradle to grave” approach that further considers a car’s overall impact on the environment, including a vehicle’s manufacturing process, disposal impact and (where applicable) the sources of energy used to generate power for electric vehicles, with states that rely heavily on coal-based plants faring the worst in this regard.

BMW i3 Carbon Edition

For 2017, all 12 of vehicles on the council’s list are electrified autos, being either gas-electric hybrids or full EVs, with Toyota leading all automakers by placing three models among the “cleanest dozen.”

Eight plug-in models dominate the list, with seven of those occupying spots in the top 8 (see below).

The new Hyundai Ioniq Electric beats all comers with a record-high “Green Score” of 64, and an Environmental Damage Index rating of 0.78 (higher numbers are better with the former and lower numbers are better with the latter). It’s rated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at the electric equivalent of 150/122 miles per gallon, city/highway. The highest-rated gasoline-only model is the otherwise under-achieving Mitsubishi Mirage, at 37/43 mpg city/highway, which just misses making the top-12 list with a Green Score of 58.

And which, you may ask, are the “meanest” rides on the road? Aside from a pair of posh and powerful Bentleys (the Mulsanne and Continental GT) the worst offenders are a bunch of big and powerful vans and truck-based SUVs, with the most deleterious of the bunch being the overpowered militaristic Mercedes AMG G65 SUV (one of three G-Class models among the 12 worst offenders) with a Green Score of 21 and an Environmental Damage Index of 3.02. And that’s on top of paltry fuel economy at just 11 mpg in the city.

Green Scores for all 2017 vehicles are available via the Greenercars.org database, which further includes information on each model’s fuel economy, health-related pollution impacts and greenhouse gas emissions.

12. Kia Niro FE

The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy gives the hybrid-powered version of Kia’s new-for-2017 compact wagon a Green Score of 58 and an Environmental Damage Index rating of 0.98; it’s EPA rated at 52/49 mpg city/highway.

11. Honda Accord Hybrid

The gas/electric-powered hybrid version of Honda’s handsome and roomy midsize sedan gets a Green Score of 58 and an Environmental Damage Index rating of 0.98; it’s EPA rated at 49/47 mpg.

10. Ford Focus Electric

Fiat 500e

Ford’s compact EV gets a Green Score of 58 and an Environmental Damage Index rating of 0.98. It has an average operating range of 115 miles on a charge and is EPA rated at the electric equivalent of 118/96 mpg.

9. Toyota Prius C

The compact Prius c hybrid gets a Green Score of 58 and an Environmental Damage Index rating of 0.97. It’s EPA rated at 48/43 mpg.

8. Toyota Prius Prime

Redesigned and renamed for 2017, Toyota’s plug-in hybrid has a Green Score of 59 and an Environmental Damage Index rating of 0.95. It’s estimated to run for the first 25 miles solely on battery power when it gets the electric equivalent of 133 mpg, after which it runs as a conventional hybrid and is rated at 54 mpg in combined city/highway driving.

7. Kia Soul EV

The full EV edition of Kia’s compact Soul has a Green Score of 59 and an Environmental Damage Index rating of 0.94; it features an average operating range of 93 miles on a charge and is EPA rated at the electric equivalent of 120/92 mpg. Unfortunately, it’s only sold in 10 states (California, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington).

6. Chevrolet Bolt EV

New for 2017, Chevy’s Bolt is the most amenable EVs this side of a Tesla Model S, with an average operating range of 238 miles on a charge. It gets a Green Score of 59 and an Environmental Damage Index rating of 0.93; it’s EPA rated at the electric equivalent of 128/110 mpg.

5. Nissan Leaf

Nissan LEAF Black Edition

With an average operating range of 107 miles on a charge, the bulbous-looking Leaf receives a Green Score of 60 and an Environmental Damage Index rating of 0.91; it’s EPA rated at the electric equivalent of 124/101 mpg.

4. Fiat 500E

Sold only in California and Oregon, the EV version of Fiat’s perky subcompact coupe can go for an average 84 miles on a full charge. It gets a Green Score of 62 and an Environmental Damage Index rating of 0.86, with an EPA rating at the electric equivalent of 121/103 mpg.

3. Toyota Prius Eco

The most fuel-frugal non-plug-in version of Toyota’s Prius hybrid has a Green Score of 62 and an Environmental Damage Index rating of 0.85. It’s EPA rated at 58/53 mpg.

2. BMW i3

BMW’s funky and fun to drive compact EV has a Green Score of 64 and an Environmental Damage Index rating of 0.80. It has an average operating range of 81 miles on a charge with the standard 60 amp-hour battery pack, and is EPA rated at the electric equivalent of 137/111 mpg.

1. Hyundai Ioniq Electric

New for 2017, the full EV version of the Hyundai Ioniq is the greenest car sold in the U.S. according to the ACEEE, with a Green Score of 64 and an Environmental Damage Index rating of 0.78. It has an average operating range of 124 miles on a charge and is EPA rated at the electric equivalent of 150/122 mpg.

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65 responses to "And The 12 Greenest Cars On The Road Today Are…"

  1. Volt driver says:

    LOL… This list is a joke.

    1. Emc2 says:

      It is not. These guys account for the environmental footprint “cradle to grave”

      1. philip d says:

        So a Honda Accord hybrid is greener than a Chevy Volt who isn’t even on the list. But the Prius Prime is on the list. I don’t think so.

        I think there are too many operational assumptions they are making.

        Like how many daily miles is a car like the Volt driving under EV only mode which is almost always. My guess is they have it driving on the ICE engine for too many miles.

        And what grid mix are they using for EV charging. Also their end of life scenario for battery packs can skew these results heavily toward traditional hybrids and small ICEs if they are simply saying that the packs are mostly just thrown into a landfill with very little recycling which is not what is happening.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          “Like how many daily miles is a car like the Volt driving under EV only mode which is almost always.”

          Actually, according to Volt-stats.net statistics, the fleet average for Volts’ EV mileage percentage (as opposed to gas-powered mileage) varies from about 69% to 71%, apparently depending on the season of the year.

          “My guess is they have it driving on the ICE engine for too many miles.”

          On the contrary, since the Prius Prime made this list, that rather strongly indicates to me that they’ve seriously underestimated the number of gas-powered miles the average PHEV drives per day, or over-estimated the number of EV miles, or both. The Prime is rated by the EPA at only 25 EV miles of range, significantly less than the ~38-41 miles of range the average American driver puts on his car(s) every day.

          1. philip d says:

            You can crunch the numbers however you like but the Volt and Prime are similar enough that they should rise or fall together on the list so seeing only one in the middle of the pack and the other nowhere to be seen means their methodology is way off. And to have plain hybrid SUV and car inbetween makes even less sense.

            As far as percentages of EV miles driven by Volt owners you would need to filter out the gen 2 Volt stats out of the total which include the shorter range gen 1 Volts. Just like you wouldn’t include the PIP stats with the Prime stats.

            Volt stats shows for group 2016 owners and 2017 owners a group percentage of 77% EV miles.

            This shows the obvious that going from 38 miles of EV range in gen 1 to 53 miles of EV range in gen 2 Volts has increased the average percent of EV only miles by Volt owners. It would be obvious to conclude that following this pattern the Prime’s 25 mile EV only range will yield even less EV miles than a gen one Volt hence an even smaller percentage of EV only miles for Prime owners.

            So how is the Prime not only rated as more green than the Volt but middle in the list with the Volt not even making the cut?

          2. MTN Ranger says:

            While voltstats data is interesting, it only represents 10% of total Volts sold. One could even spin it to say the EV fans sign up and the average owner could care less. Unfortunately the EV to gas ratio may actually be smaller.

    2. PDD says:

      I believe you. Your word surely has more weight than American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

  2. Felix says:

    A Hybrid is supposed to be more green than a Tesla? That does not make any sense since Teslas are beeing build using green energy!

    1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      Unicorn farts and holly Elon reality distortion field makes anything with Tesla badge glow bright green! Every non-believer is just Big Oil Shill and short, conspiring against the world! Don’t pay attention to these silly lists and numbers, just believe!

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Like you believe your “fool cell” fanboy wishful thinking? No thanks, I prefer real science and actual facts.

        I also prefer studies that use real-world assumptions and premises, which this obviously flawed study doesn’t.

        1. Nix says:

          2017 HYUNDAI TUCSON FUEL CELL
          Green Score: 43

          Same score as a BMW 440i, and a Lexus NX 200T

    2. Dexmo says:

      It is simple math, due to the energy and environmental impact of the production of an EV and the litium ion battery.

      You can drive an energy efficiant small ICE car for several years, before the Tesla is (over all) better for the environment.

      They say you can drive a VW Golf (with an ICE) for 2 years before a (previous versjon) VW e-golf is better for the environment.

      EVs with larger batteries take several years extra.

      But local emissions are gone, no matter which EV you choose.

      There has been solid studies that shows this. It is a fact, that is not what most EV drivers want to hear – but they have to think about local emmisions AND the more (longer)you drive an EV, the faster you will reach the line where EVs are overall better.
      If you communte a longer distance with a Tesla (and have a longer then average driving distance) it will take significantly shorter to be better for the environment then an ICE car.

      Also.. it depends on where you live. In Europe they drive much more energy efficient ICE cars, compared to the US with much heavier cars and with much bigger engines.
      The difference is increasing too, as the average US ICE car get bigger because of cheaper gas prices. Gasoline direct injected engines is also really bad for the local environment with serious amounts of particles in the exhaust. Most engines like that will now have to be fitted with a particle filter to be legal to drive in Europe.

      The list should have linked to studies that shows the graph with the number of miles/km driven – so people can see how the electric car will be superior in the end. Espesially those that drive longer distances.
      The ease to recycling should also be graphically represented. There is a fairly large difference between brands, and models.

      Cars with a lot of aluminium, magnesium and carbon require more energy to make – but have advantages over time. Lower weight = longer range. The energy mix also depends on where people live. Not only country but area. Coal or hydro for example. . or low sulfur content of the oil the gas is made from..
      many variables, and it will not be accurate for everybody.

      I tend to keep my cars for years and years, and that is better for the environment – even though a new ICE car uses less fuel because I don’t really drive that much AND it require a LOT of energy and emissions to produce a new car. To make the steel, aluminium, glass and plastic.. it is all very energy demanding.
      The iron ore have to be mined, the rocks have to be crushed, purified and then in a smelter. The oil have to be pumped up from the ground, refined and made into plastics..

      . . . so if people started to buy more quality stuff, and keep it for years AND repair it when it fails it is a win win for the environment. Not only cars but everything.

      There is a lot of stuff like that to think about. Owning a large dog is bad for the environment for example, as they eat more meat. If people started to eat less meat, and replaced the dog with a rabbit… they could probably still drive a smaller ICE car, and have a smaller enviromental fingerprint then if they bought an EV..

      Not to mention recycling.. if all countries was as good as Germany, it would make a huge difference. You don’t really see landfills in Germany. They recycle glass, metal, paper, food, plastic and what not..

    3. Dexmo says:

      Look at how the raw materials for the batteries are made. Huge environmental impact.

      Look at how the aluminium for the body is made. Huge environmental impact.

      If you drive a Tesla for longer distances daily – it WILL beat a hybrid after a number of years.

      The longer you drive the faster you will reach the point of where the Tesla is better for the environment. Not to mention no local emissions.
      If you car share, and have a coworker ride with you – you will reach it even sooner. Two passengers … even better.

  3. Nada says:

    Tesla not at the top of the list…
    EV commentors meltdown forthcoming…
    Actualy it is probably right as Teslas are huge gargantium vehicles with huge gargantium wheels that kill effiency in short Teslas are about the average size car produced for US roads today…
    The model 3 should place near the top though…
    In a cradel to grave analysis weight does matter as it takes tons and tons and tons of mining to make pounds of usable material…

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      I would not expect a Tesla Model S or a Model X to rate at the top of the list. Those are large heavy cars with large battery packs, and I’m sure the environmental impact of making all those batteries is significant.

      However, I certainly do expect a BEV, even a large heavy one, to rate as “cleaner” than a PHEV with a piffling 25 mile EPA range rating, like the Prius Prime. The fact that the Prime appears at all on this list is a pretty strong indicator to me that they’re either (1) not accounting for all the pollution emitted in the well-to-wheel supply chain for gasoline/diesel, or else (2) they’re assuming an unrealistically high percentage of EV miles vs gas-powered miles for PHEVs.

      I think a much better, much closer to real-world comparison and using as close to apples-to-apples comparisons as possible, is shown in this Clean Technia infographic:

  4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    The Toyota Prius Prime, which has an EV range rating of only 25 miles, rates as “greener” than Tesla’s cars?

    Methinks the assumptions their ratings are based on are skewed rather badly.

    I wonder if they’re ignoring all the pollution emitted in the refining process for gasoline/diesel, as far too many comparisons of this type do.

    1. philip d says:

      And the Prime is on the list but the Volt isn’t. Although the Volt is less efficient in EV mode than the Prime in EV mode the Volt has double the EV range and will be driven in EV mode for a much larger percentage of driving than the Prime. The Prime will simply use much more gas and it isn’t that much more efficient in EV mode to make up for that.

      Even if you were to convince me that the Prime is greener overall I might buy that the Volt would come in 1 or 2 places behind the Prime on the list. But they don’t have the Volt even beating a regular Prius or an Accord hybrid.

      1. eric says:

        The prime probably rates high for a couple of reasons. The smaller battery requires much fewer resources to produce. It is significantly more efficient than the volt when driving in either gas only or electric only (25 kwh/100mi vs 31 in the Volt – see fueleconomy.gov). The variable is what percentage you drive in gas vs electric. For me, the Prius has the perfect balance as I rarely drive more than 25 miles a day. If you drive in the the 30 to 50 mi/day range with no opportunity to recharge, the balance may shift. Much over 50 and it starts to shift back to the Prius.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          “The smaller battery requires much fewer resources to produce.”

          Sure, but the resource cost and pollution produced in producing the battery pack once for the lifetime of the average car, can’t possibly compare to the amount of energy used and pollution generated by both producing and burning all the gasoline used over the lifetime of a gasmobile.

          Burning just 1 gallon of gas produces 20 pounds of CO2! And producing just 1 gallon of gas requires about 4.4-6 kWh of energy just for the refining process (not specifically electricity, but energy); estimates vary.

          You do the math, and if you think I’m wrong, then show your figures. It looks to me like the claims in this study ignore reality pretty firmly.

          1. Ben says:

            Dont listen to scientists having spent month writing this study and doing the math with public methods and formulas, listen to me instead, who spent 5 seconds googling and 2 seconds thinking. Welcome to the Trumpian USA…

            I was telling folks for years, that if you really do the math and stop to blindly follow Musks claims, that Tesla S and X are not really better to the environment than small to midsized ICEs, as 2.5t of weight is neither efficient nor easy to produce. Buy small cars or no car at all and not big Teslas, if you want to be less damaging to the environment.

      2. Neromanceres says:

        I agree. Especially if they considered cradle to grave the Volt should be very clean.

        The battery cells are made in Holland, MI
        Battery assembled in Brownstown, MI
        Gas engine assembled in Flint, MI
        Car assembled in Detroit-Hamtramck (DHAM), MI

        All of these facilities are zero landfill factories.

        DHAM has a 512KW solar array, storm water recovery system and has landfill gas powered generators. Overall 58% of the energy consumed by the plant is currently from renewable energy.

        1. Dr. Rat says:

          Have your seen the people in Detroit- they are huge, a lot of mass to move around either by walking or driving. I’m being funny although true more weight takes more energy- health lifestyle should be taken in consideration in these studies. What good is it if you drive an EV to same the environment but do nothing to cut down on consumption of certain foods like the csttle industry. Eat less meat better for the environment. Again I’m being funny but there is a correlation all this.

  5. Alaa says:

    I hope one day we get to read about the cars in China here. Like this one.
    https://electrek.co/2017/07/24/china-new-all-electric-suv-gac-motor-ge3/

    China is much larger than the US and the EU combined. Yet it is not covered here!

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Busy news cycle today, but don’t worry we will cover that first thing in the AM tomorrow.

      Honestly, I don’t think you will find more China-specific EV coverage in the Western Hemisphere than here at IEV. From the big names – like BYD, GAC Chery, JAC, to Chinese monthly EV sales, to Chinese policy, I think cover the scene fairly decently.

      1. Alaa says:

        I started to look in baidu and translate the sites. They have cars that I did not know. We should learn from China. I think that Germany for example is not a country that we should learn from. VW is owned by Qatar (17% ordinary shares and 13% preferred shares). Mercedes, well Kuwait owns 6.8% of it. So you see in China the mandate for electric cars is the most aggressive in the world. While in Germany it is the exact oppiste! So we are like this drunk man who lost his car keys in a dark street and is looking for them under a bright lamp post in a different street.

        1. Nada says:

          Well Suadi and China both own a signafacnt portion of the US goverment…
          Woops I meant they own US Bonds…

        2. Asak says:

          Visit China and then see if you still think we should learn from them. I visited China in 2016 and it was an absolutely terrifying experience. Pollution was so bad that you couldn’t see the sky! Overall visibility was less than half a mile. And, no, it wasn’t “fog”. Like I said, it was absolutely terrifying, like something out of a dystopian sci-fi movie.

          They do have aggressive EV plans, and I give them props for that, but they are also starting out in the deepest hole in terms of environmental pollution. If China were really serious they wouldn’t be allowing sales of gas cars at all, just like they should have phased out coal power plants two decades ago.

          They know that business as usual isn’t going to work for them, not because of foresight but because they’ve witnessed the failure firsthand.

      2. Nada says:

        You guys do a good job covering China but I second the call for more China EV news as they are the number 1 auto market and they are now far and away the number 1 country pushing for EVs second to the EU and the US is sadly a very distant third…
        The amount of EV news from China is going to grow tremendously with their new 8% policy starting next year…

        1. ffbj says:

          Which probably won’t happen. Do we really need more start-ups finance by Chinese backers?
          How much time was wasted on FF & somewhat on Lucid? Of course these were negative stories, as were the ones concerning garnering of illegal funds by fake companies which resulted in a crackdown on these sorts of shenanigans.

          So maybe there is some actual news to report, like Tesla builds a factory there, maybe we should just wait a while and see what happens, and then report on that.

          1. Nada says:

            Well I hate to tell you this but China has multiple billion dollar auto companies that are and will be making tons of EVs and probably lots more than the three US companies…
            Note Chinas multiple billion dollar auto companies are not start ups…
            And dont blame China for selling out US workers blame Washington…

          2. Nada says:

            From wiki auto manufactures in 2015…
            13 SAIC China 2,260,579
            14 Daimler Germany 2,134,645
            15 Mazda Japan 1,540,576
            16 Changan China 1,540,133
            17 Mitsubishi Japan 1,218,853
            18 Dongfeng China 1,209,296
            19 BAIC China 1,169,894

  6. Rick says:

    Bunch of hybrids and no e-Golf…

    1. DJ says:

      Ya right. At a minimum I would have thought the eGolf would be “greener” than the Honda Accord. It’s impressive for it’s size but a smaller car and a BEV at that you’d think has a leg up by default.

      It’s also strange that a rating of 63 on one car is “Superior” while that of a 64 of another car is “Above average”.

      1. Asak says:

        If the Leaf is on there I’d think the e-Golf would be in the same ballpark. Maybe its sales are too low for inclusion?

  7. Taylor S Marks says:

    I found Tesla vehicles in their database. They list Tesla vehicles as producing an average of 4 tons of CO2 per year with absolutely no explanation for how they arrived at that (or any other) number:
    http://www.greenercars.org/2017-tesla-model-s-75d-44351

    Looked at the BMW i3 entry. Similarly just a bunch of numbers that they pulled out of their behinds.

    1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      > Taylor S Marks

      How does it makes difference? They list 4 tons for Model S 75D and 3 tons/year for i3 60Ah.

      Fueleconomy.gov may have a ton or so less on US average grid. But ratio is similar between 124 mpge i3 60Ah and 103 mpge Model S 75D
      http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=38187&id=38062&id=38000&id=38524

      Add charger losses, vampire losses, and you may get that extra ton or so more if you are inclined to count every mouse nut. It doesn’t change basic logic – much heavier car with 3 times bigger monster battery has much bigger footprint than compact car, whatever way you try to spin the numbers for the sake of love to Elon. Just battery manufacturing produces over 10 ton of GHG emissions for 75 kWh.

      1. Tom says:

        Physics and math don’t seem to be a strong point of people on this forum. The basic truth of your argument that a lighter vehicle that is made of less stuff and uses less energy per mile is by definition more efficient seems a bit of voodoo to the average Tesla fanatic. Sort of how I described the band Pearl Jam to my teenage son. Great band. Awesome band. But their fans are boorish and ignorant and have bought into a religion of superiority over all where no other facts are allowed to be put into their paradigm and nobody ever is allowed to have different tastes. Zeppelin? Crappy hacks…they probably drive hatchbacks.

      2. Bill Howland says:

        ZZZZZZ, since I haven’t owned a modern Tesla, I can’t give precise info here, but it seems the vampire losses in the “S” are not as great as they once were, and the car’s charger, at least at the 240 volt level, are nominal in comparison with other EV products.

        And there seems to be somewhat more emphasis from Tesla lately regarding making a more reliable product. Obviously, keep existing product working, and not filling up landfills with worn out junk is the ‘greener’ way to go.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “They list Tesla vehicles as producing an average of 4 tons of CO2 per year with absolutely no explanation for how they arrived at that (or any other) number:”

      Probably based the average rating of the U.S. electrical grid as reported by the EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration).

      There are at least three fallacies there:

      1. The number of cars sold in States with much “greener” grid electricity, such as California, Oregon and Washington State, are significantly greater per capita than the number of cars sold in States with high CO2 emissions from production grid energy. That means average BEV emissions are lower than the national grid average indicates.

      2. The numbers ignore the percentage of EV owners who use home solar energy systems, which have much, much lower lifetime emissions than the grid average.

      3. The EIA’s rating for some types of power plants are wholly inappropriate for the comparison under question. For example, nuclear power plants are rated at “33% efficiency” just like average coal-fired plants, despite the fact that nuclear power plants use zero fossil fuel and emit zero CO2 in operation! I’m not sure, but I suspect hydro electric plants are similarly under-rated for how they emit zero CO2 in operation.

      I would love to see someone do a serious attempt at a true apples-to-apples comparison of cradle-to-grave and well-to-wheel CO2 emissions over the lifetime of a typical gasmobile versus a typical BEV. Sadly, it appears if I want that, I’m gonna have to do it myself.

      The conclusions of this study appear to be a case of what we computer programmers call GIGO: Garbage In, Garbage Out.

      1. Ben says:

        1. The number of cars sold in States with much “greener” grid electricity, such as California, Oregon and Washington State, are significantly greater per capita than the number of cars sold in States with high CO2 emissions from production grid energy. That means average BEV emissions are lower than the national grid average indicates.

        Does not matter, as this reports goal is giving information to everybody, thus you do not know where the consumer will be located. As well energy can be transfered and does not stop at states borders. Additionally a lot of EVs are charged when solar energy is not available (at night). This is more complicated than you think it is.

        2. The numbers ignore the percentage of EV owners who use home solar energy systems, which have much, much lower lifetime emissions than the grid average.

        Does not matter, as this power would be supplied to the grid otherwise and a lot of EVs charge at night when solar is not available, thus rely on the grid and its energy sources. The environment does not care if your car or somebodys aircon uses your solar energy.

        3. The EIA’s rating for some types of power plants are wholly inappropriate for the comparison under question. For example, nuclear power plants are rated at “33% efficiency” just like average coal-fired plants, despite the fact that nuclear power plants use zero fossil fuel and emit zero CO2 in operation! I’m not sure, but I suspect hydro electric plants are similarly under-rated for how they emit zero CO2 in operation.

        You seem to have no idea of what efficiency means from a scientists standpoint.
        As well, you might be interested: https://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/annual/pdf/sec17.pdf

        1. Bill Howland says:

          The one thing YOU are FORGETTING (or never knew) Ben, is the marginal efficiency increase of a central station is much higher at night, since the efficiency of an unloaded central station is horrible. In other words, even a GM ev charging at the default 1kw rate may only use 400 extra watts worth of fuel at the central station – the extra 600 watts being ‘free’ due to the great marginal increase of efficiency of the ev.

          The more ‘unloaded’ a central station is, the greater the marginal efficiency increase will be when a second EV plugs in.

          Obviously if everyone had evs charging at night the efficiency of the plant would be improved, and then an ADDITIONAL ev on top of that would have the marginal efficiency increase be roughly the same as the plant’s existing efficiency at this output, but then at that point we’d be right where we want to be.

  8. Bill Howland says:

    Even though Teslas are midsized cars, the emphasis has never seemed to be on operating efficiency, especially in the wintertime.

    But improve they have supposedly, and current Teslas do not use as much ‘overnight drain’ as they used to, which some “X” owners complained about initially.

    The Bolt and Volt, both to their credit, while not being the snaziest vehicles around, do go quite far per kilowatt-hour (most of the time I’m around 200 wh/mile, and sometimes less than 166 wh/mile in good weather in my Bolt ev) – and while the VOLT and ELR are not quite as frugal with gasoline usage in good weather, they are VERY frugal with it during the cold winter months.

    True some hybrid-only vehicles are better, but GM traditionally has been not bad as an overall efficient plug-in electric/gasoline backup package.

  9. Nix says:

    Just like with ICE cars, larger classes of cars don’t do as well as smaller classes. But when compared to cars in their same class, both the Model S and Model X have the highest “Green Score” in the Large Car and Midsize SUV classes (respectively).

    2017 TESLA MODEL S 60D Large Cars
    Green Score: 55
    Class Ranking: Superior

    2017 TESLA MODEL S 75D Large Cars
    Green Score: 55
    Class Ranking: Superior

    2017 TESLA MODEL S P100D Large Cars
    Green Score: 52
    Class Ranking: Above Average

    2017 TESLA MODEL X P90D Midsize SUV:
    Green Score: 52
    Class Ranking: Superior

    2017 TESLA MODEL X 60D Midsize SUV:
    Green Score: 52
    Class Ranking: Superior

    2017 TESLA MODEL X 90D Midsize SUV:
    Green Score: 52
    Class Ranking: Superior

    2017 TESLA MODEL X P90D Midsize SUV:
    Green Score: 52
    Class Ranking: Superior

    2017 TESLA MODEL X P100D Midsize SUV:
    Green Score: 51
    Class Ranking: Superior

    1. Warren says:

      Yes. For a fat car, it doesn’t sweat much. I don’t understand how people can be so dense. Big vehicles use more energy and resources to make, and to run, than small vehicles, with the same technology. Our Bolt uses 1Kw when turned on. No AC, no lights. My big cargo bike pulls that at 32 mph. Turned on, it pulls 2 watts. there is no free lunch, and cars are the handbasket we are riding to hell.

      1. Warren says:

        I fully expect the base Model 3 to be the best mid-sized car on their list next year. It will have as smaller battery than the Bolt, be more aero, and lighter too. If you want a sport sedan, and can wait a year or two, it will be amazing.

      2. philip d says:

        Maybe one day when the robots that mine the raw materials, transport them and make the vehicles in a factory run on sun and wind energy that is captured by PV panels and turbines that are made by other robots.

        And of course there are the robots that make the factories and the robots that make the other robots. And the robots to recycle and clean up the mess.

        Then we can ride around autonomously while not feeling guilty. Of course they only way I will experience this will be as ashes in an urn.

        1. Warren says:

          I know techno-utopians believe that is our future. I think we monkeys will be lucky to keep our shoes.

    2. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      Nix>
      Mercedes AMG G65 SUV is also best in its ultimate environment trashing class because it is the only such SUV in production :/

      It is quite smug to assume just because you belong to some “higher class” or caste or whatever, you are entitled to trash more. It has as much logic as just throwing your trash out of the window, because you are in special “class”, you know :/

    3. georgeS says:

      @Hix

      No fair reading the report. I call foul:)

  10. wavelet says:

    I suspect a large part of the environmental footprint of a car is energy & materials used in manufacturing it in the first place — this is obviously larger for larger cars.
    As I recall, the 90KWh pack of a Tesla takes more energy to manufacture initially than riding a million miles on a e-bicycle…

  11. PDD says:

    For those wondering about the methodology, it is available here: https://goo.gl/GVXrnp

  12. Texas FFE says:

    Nice to see the Focus Electric make the list even if it was number 10. The 2017 FFE really is a lot of value for the price, I’m surprised sales are not a lot higher. When I see the Fiat 500e with only 87 miles of range and no DCFC outselling the FFE with 115 miles of range and CCS charging it really makes me wonder about people’s priorities.

    1. Nada says:

      Not suprising at all…
      As someone who has basicaly only owned Fords till recently I am disapointed in their EV slaes or lack there of…
      Ford does not want to sell the Focus EV which is why they dont stock it and why I bought a Leaf a couple of years ago…

    2. Mark.ca says:

      People’s priorities? Why not Ford priorities?

    3. SparkEV says:

      Unless you beat up a Ford sales guy, FFE is a well kept secret that only you and few people who read IEV know about. There’s something major wrong with Ford, and it’s not the car.

  13. SparkEV says:

    Why do publications make “green” so arbitrary? Simple fact is, EV can run using excess solar which no gasser can. Since PH can (and often do) burn gas, they pollute a whole lot more.

    Very simple way to gauge “green” is to go by EPA’s MPGe and not include hybrids since they burn gas. Then the top 3 are

    IoniqEV
    Bolt
    BMW i3 (90 Ah version)

    More complex way is to drive at 62 MPH or 70 MPH for majority of battery and see what the car used in terms of mi/kWh. Since they trot out discontinued 60 Ah i3, we have to include SparkEV. Then the top spots are

    SparkEV (5.0 mi/kWh @ 62 MPH, 4.4 mi/kWh @ 70 MPH)
    IoniqEV (4.9 mi/kWh @ 62 MPH)
    BMW i3, 60 Ah (4.8 mi/kWh @ 62 MPH)
    BoltEV (about 4 mi/kWh 65 to 70 MPH)

    http://sparkev.blogspot.com/2017/02/sparkev-is-most-efficient-car-in-world.html

  14. WARREN says:

    And of the top five cars on the list, the BMW is the quickest and most fun to drive. And compared to the ioniq, the i3 is a rocketship. Helps put some of the i3 engineering into perspective.

  15. Blastphemy says:

    The Chevrolet Volt has a “green” score of 56, and yet the inferior Prius Prime has a 59. Something is flawed with this study.

    1. PDD says:

      Well, it’s more efficient. You shouldn’t be surprised that the more efficient vehicle scored higher on the list.

  16. Don Zenga says:

    How come they skipped the Ioniq-Hybrid (55 MPG) and Prius-Hybrid (52 MPG).
    Both these vehicles are far better than Prius C (46 MPG) for their size and space.

    And why did they skip Tesla vehicles which should be in Top-5.
    I don’t think that Fiat 500e should be considered as regular car since a 8 year old cannot sit in the back seat and its more of a 2 + 2 seater.

    1. PDD says:

      Why should Tesla be in the top 5 exactly?

  17. terry says:

    Ioniq is great EV,make 15k km efficiency 14 kWh/100km with bigger battery pack will be Ionoiq a TM3 killer in Europe!

  18. DANNY RASMUSSEN says:

    gas is relatively cheap? Not if u live on the west coast of Canada. We are getting reamed here for it. $1.30 /liter!

    1. Bill Howland says:

      That is why full electrics and PHEV’s should sell better even in COld Canada. Although for the longest time you had nationwide really cheap electricity, there are not-insignificant parts ,e.g. Ontario, that are not cheap anymore – mainly due to political decisions, to the point where even Industry is thinking of leaving for greener (cheaper) electricity pastures.

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