Honda Fit EV

Despite some claims to the contrary, green cars will get downright emerald when it comes to environmental friendliness, as electric production gets cleaner, according to a recent Natural Resources Defense Council blog post. Electric vehicles contribute as much as 53 percent fewer "cradle-to-grave" emissions than gas-powered vehicles, even factoring in such elements as the lithium that goes into EV batteries. The NRDC argues that EVs are the "cleanest vehicles on the road today" and – more importantly – will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.

Working in EVs' favor is the fact that 29 states have enacted renewable-energy targets for power production, replacing coal with sources like solar, hydro and wind power. Additionally, the lithium supply is sufficient enough to support plug-in vehicle sales through the end of the century, the blog says, citing the Journal of Industrial Ecology.

Americans appear to be buying into the NRDC's theory. US plug-in sales last month almost doubled year-earlier totals to hit almost 5,900 units, with the Nissan Leaf more than quadrupling year-earlier sales and Tesla Motors continuing to rack up better-then-predicted sales of the Model S.