February 10th 2012

Meanest and Greenest cars for 2012

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) recently published its 14th annual Greenest Cars List, in conjunction with its Meanest list, and there has definitely been some changes.

For the first time, an electric vehicle has trumped the win, taking over the number one spot. And, it’s not too surprising, that the list tends to be dominated by non-domestic cars.

Keep reading to see who came out on top, and who wins for the meanest.

When preparing the report, a variety of environmental criteria are assessed to see what the vehicle’s green score would be. This includes the emissions created by the power plant used to provide electricity to the electric vehicles, as to not give them an unfair advantage. Because of the changes in the different cars and trucks that are now available, the ACEEE had to change their evaluation methods, as well.

“This year, a number of updates were made to the Green Book® methodology to more accurately estimate vehicles’ environmental impacts. These include improved emissions estimates for the vehicle manufacturing process, changes reflecting current natural gas extraction practices, and consideration of upcoming shifts in the generation mix for the electricity used to power electric cars,” says the report from the The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

Unfortunately for domestic cars, they didn’t have too much of a chance to grace the list. Even the Chevy Volt, which would be the top electric contender for General Motors, didn’t make it. The reasoning, apparently, is because it is a heavy vehicle, there is more waste in the production of it. And they definitely took hold of the mean list.

“Even taking into account the emissions generated from the electricity used to power the i-MIEV, it still handily outscores other vehicles on the market today,” said ACEEE lead vehicle analyst Shruti Vaidyanathan. And so, it takes over the first spot on the Greenest List.

Here is a summary of the winners (and losers):

The Top 5 from the 2012 Greenest List

Make and Model: Mitsubishi I-Miev
Specifications:
Electric (lithium-ion battery)
Emission Standard:
ZEV
Miles Per Gallon City:
3.8
Miles Per Gallon Highway:
2.9
Green Score:
58

Make and Model: Honda Civic Natural Gas
Specifications:
1.8L
Emission Standard:
automatic
Miles Per Gallon City:
27
Miles Per Gallon Highway:
37
Green Score:
55

Make and Model: Nissan Leaf
Specifications:
Electric (lithium-ion battery)
Emission Standard:
ZEV
Miles Per Gallon City:
3.1
Miles Per Gallon Highway:
2.7
Green Score:
55

 

Make and Model: Toyota Prius
Specifications:
1.8L 4
Emission Standard:
auto CVT/PZEV
Miles Per Gallon City:
51
Miles Per Gallon Highway:
48
Green Score:
54

Make and Model: Honda Insight
Specifications:
1.3L 4
Emission Standard:
auto CVT PZEV
Miles Per Gallon City:
41
Miles Per Gallon Highway:
44
Green Score:
53

The Top 5 from the 2012 Meanest List

Make and Model: Chevrolet G3500 Express Cargo/GMC G3500 Savana Cargo (MDPV)
Specifications:
6.0L 8
Emission Standard:
auto
Miles Per Gallon City:
10
Miles Per Gallon Highway:
14
Green Score:
17

 

Make and Model: Ford E-350 Wagon
Specifications:
6.8L 10
Emission Standard:
auto
Miles Per Gallon City:
10
Miles Per Gallon Highway:
13
Green Score:
17

Make and Model: Bugatti Veyron
Specifications:
8.0L 16
Emission Standard:
auto, AWD
Miles Per Gallon City:
8
Miles Per Gallon Highway:
15
Green Score:
19

Make and Model: Ford F-350 FFV (Class 2B)
Specifications:
6.2L 8
Emission Standard:
auto
Miles Per Gallon City:
11
Miles Per Gallon Highway:
16
Green Score:
19

Make and Model: Ford F-250 FFV (Class 2B)
Specifications:
6.2L 8
Emission Standard:
auto
Miles Per Gallon City:
11
Miles Per Gallon Highway:
16
Green Score:
20

“It’s increasingly obvious that automakers are fully invested in providing consumers with the widest possible array of vehicle choices. Earning a spot on the “Greenest” list is proving to be a real challenge for automakers given the variety of vehicle technologies on the market and the proliferation of highly efficient conventional vehicles. Just using the latest technology does not guarantee a top spot,” said Vaidyanathan.

Read the full press release from the ACEEE here.

And check out the full list of the Greenest Vehicles of 2012 and the Meanest Vehicles of 2012.

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Andrew loves art and design, and pursues his studies in his final year at the Ontario College of Art and Design. He loves seeking out new artists and giving them their dues, and in his spare time, focuses on his own abstract sculpture.