The all-electric Smart fortwo Electric Drive (ED) isn’t the least expensive car you can find ($26,990), but it’s the greenest.
The fortwo ED tops the happy planet rides from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy or ACEEE (Greenercars.org). No surprise. The fortwo ED is a pure city car, with a range of 138 km and a top speed of 125 km/hour.
ACEEE’s No. 2 car, Toyota’s Prius c, is a hybrid, though No. 3 is an electric vehicle, the 2014 Nissan Leaf EV. See below for the full list.
So not a single car from the Detroit Three among the top 12. Also missing is Tesla’s much-hyped battery-powered Model S. In fact, the Model S with its 60 kwh battery had the same “green” score as a gasoline-powered Porsche Carrera S. ACEEE says the Model S is a heavy car powered by a very heavy battery. That hurts it, according to ACEEE’s weighted rating system that factors in emissions, fuel economy, recyclability, and the source of electricity.
ACEEE notes that improvements to conventional internal combustion-powered vehicles are becoming increasingly important, too. Car companies are downsizing engines and using turbocharging, direct injection, and other technologies to boost fuel economy and lower emissions.
Even pickup trucks are getting into the fuel-efficiency game. The new Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is rated at 7.1 litres/100 km – in a truck with 420 lb/ft of torque.
The Greenest 2014 Vehicles
- Mercedes-Benz Smart ED convertible/coupe
- Toyota Prius C
- Nissan Leaf
- Toyota Prius
- Honda Civic Hybrid
- Lexus CT 200H
- Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid
- Mitsubishi Mirage
- Honda Civic Natural Gas
- Honda Insight
- Mercedes-Benz Smart fortwo convertible/coupe
- Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid
As for the 12 meanest:
- Ram 2500 (class 2B)
- Bugatti Veyron
- Ford E-150 Wagon FFV
- Bentley Mulsanne
- Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG
- Mercedes-Benz G550
- Ford F-150 Raptor
- Ford Expedition/Lincoln Navigator FFV
- Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead
- Rolls-Royce Phantom EWB
- Lamborghini Aventador Roadster
- Cadillac Escalade ESV
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