ACEEE Releases 'Meanest' and 'Greenest' Vehicle Scorecard
$100-per-barrel oil, new fuel economy requirements, and concern
about climate change, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient
Economy (ACEEE) recently named the year’s “greenest” and “meanest”
vehicles, along with environmental scorings of all model year 2008
cars and passenger trucks.
Earning the “greenest vehicle” title for the fifth consecutive year
is Honda’s natural gas-powered Civic GX. Hybrid-electric vehicles
also continue to perform well in ACEEE’s annual ranking, despite
being disproportionately affected by changes to the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency’s fuel economy calculations. The
Toyota Prius and Honda Civic Hybrid claim spots two and three, while
the highly-anticipated Smart Fortwo Convertible and the Toyota Yaris
complete the top five, showcasing the environmental benefits of
smaller passenger vehicles. Others on the “Greenest” list include
conventional and hybrid-electric vehicles from Honda, Toyota, Mini,
and Ford. The 2008 Ford Focus comfortably takes the 9th spot in
ACEEE’s annual ranking, reversing last year’s shutout of domestic
“Hybrids stand out, even after being taken down a notch by the new
fuel economy calculations,” said ACEEE vehicle analyst Shruti
Vaidyanathan. “And sales rose by a whopping 40% last year. This
interest in hybrid vehicles should shine the spotlight on other
green vehicle technologies that can significantly improve fuel
Widely regarded as the pre-eminent buyer’s guide to environment-
friendly passenger cars, trucks, and SUVs, greenercars.org provides
the facts necessary to examine the eco-performance of any 2008
model. Vehicles are analyzed on the basis of a “Green Score,” a
singular measure that incorporates unhealthy tailpipe emissions,
fuel consumption, and the emissions of gases that cause global
This year’s “Meanest Vehicles for the Environment” list is dominated
by European imports; only three domestic models make an appearance.
Diesel-powered vehicles continue to perform poorly on ACEEE’s annual
ranking due to the high levels of environmentally damaging nitrogen
oxides and particulate matter they release, despite greater fuel
efficiency. The eagerly-awaited “fifty-state” diesel that should
greatly boost these vehicles’ environmental scores is still missing
in this year’s offerings. Once again, the diesel-powered Volkswagen
Touareg receives the dubious honor of being the year’s most
environment-unfriendly vehicle, leading a pack of diesel-powered
vehicles that includes the Mercedes-Benz GL320 CDI, R320 CDI, and
ML320 CDI, and the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Rounding out the “dirty
dozen” are low sales-volume sports cars and heavier vehicles: the
Bugatti Veyron, Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG, Hummer H2, GMC Yukon 2500,
Bentley Azure, and Bentley Arnage.
“We’re looking to diesels to help reduce global warming emissions,
yet they’re still hanging out at environmental rock bottom,” said
ACEEE Transportation Director Therese Langer.
The full list of vehicles can be found href=”http://greenercars.org/highlights.htm” target=”new”>here.