Getting 12th place on a list of the greenest vehicles of 2011 as evaluated by ACEEE for Chevy's Volt has got GM a little upset. To add insult to injury after the list came out, they got bumped to 13th place by the Mazda 2, which was inadvertently omitted due to a mistake in vehicle emissions specifications.
In response to ACEEE's green listing Rob Peterson, a General Motors spokesman stated:
Looking beyond just the fuel consumption such as the emissions from the power when charging, ease of recycling, and factory pollution does paint a better picture overall of the impact a vehicle has on the environment. However, GM has a point that ACEEE's measurements may not reflect actual use especially when drivers such as Lyle Dennis are getting 111 mpg in the Volt with a 60 mile round-trip commute. Still, using phrases like, "We lose against the Leaf because we have a gas engine," have got to be a bit hard to say, no?
Their logic would escape the majority of consumers. If you look at the EPA ratings for the Smart fortwo at 33 city and 41 highway, it's actually less than the Volt's after the electric range is exhausted. We're being penalized against the Smart because our car is a four-seater with a battery pack and therefore weighs more. And we lose against the Leaf because we have a gas engine. But you really have to look at how the car is actually used - their methodology doesn't add up.