New Guide To Green Cars
U.S. automakers continue to lag behind foreign manufacturers in the production of environmentally friendly vehicles, according to a new guide ranking the “greenness” of new cars, trucks and sport utility vehicles.
The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) unveiled its new “Green Book” on Tuesday.
The annual guide from the Washington based nonprofit research group provides analysis of a vehicle’s environmental friendliness through a measure that incorporates fuel consumption and air pollution, including both tailpipe emissions and the emissions of greenhouse gases.
No U.S. models made it into the guide’s list of the top 12 least polluting, most efficient vehicles, an absence that is disappointing, says ACEEE’s Transportation Program Director Therese Langer.
“But the fact is that the greenest vehicles today excel in both fuel economy and tailpipe emissions, and Detroit has yet to do that,” Langer said.
The greenest car of the year is Honda’s natural gas powered Civic GX, followed by Honda’s hybrid electric two seater Insight and Toyota’s Prius, a hybrid-electric midsize sedan.
The Honda Civic Hybrid and Toyota Echo round out the top five. Others in the top 12 are conventional gasoline vehicles from automakers Nissan, Mazda, Hyundai, and Scion.
The list of “meanest” vehicles is once again dominated by large sport utility vehicles. The diesel powered version of Volkswagen’s Touareg SUV tops the list in part because burning diesel fuel emits higher levels of harmful tailpipe pollutants.
“For the most part, it is the combination of poor fuel economy and mediocre tailpipe emissions that lands a vehicle on this list,” Langer explained. “The list is troubling, because it contains a number of very popular nameplates, both domestic and foreign.”
The organization acknowledges consumers’ desire for vehicles of all types, and includes listings of the best pickups, minivans, and SUVs as well.
“It is the choices we make in buying cars and trucks that determine how clean the air is, and how dependent we are on Middle East oil,” said Bill Prindle, ACEEE’s policy director.
“If new car and light truck buyers chose the most efficient vehicles in each size class, we would slash the 2004 fleet’s gasoline use by 18 percent, reducing gasoline purchases by $3.2 billion and saving the average buyer $195 a year,” said Prindle. “And, of course, we would also cut greenhouse gas emissions.”
This year, a vehicle’s environmental impact varies as much as four fold within a given class, and five fold across all model year 2004 vehicles. A link to the guide can be found here.
Provided by theEnvironmental News Service.