Smart Fortwo ED

Ram 2500Every year, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) looks into the soul of the American automobile market and figures out which vehicles are evil. This is how it comes up with a "meanest" vehicle rating. Wait, no, that's not right. In reality, ACEEE rates vehicles using Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board fuel economy data and "other specifications reported by automakers" to find both the meanest and greenest vehicles of the year. In other words, the least and the most efficient. For 2014, the greenest vehicle is the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive while the meanest is the Class 2B Ram 2500. The results are published over on Greener Cars.

The highest possible score in ACEEE's formula would result in 100, but the Smart ED won with a 59, showing just how much further the industry has to go to really green up its act, according to ACEEE. Aside from fuel use, ACEEE looks at pollution - particulates, greenhouse gases, etc. - from vehicle and fuel production and its effect on health. The average vehicle, ACEEE says, scores a 37 while those mean ones only manage a 17 or so. It's interesting to note that 59 is the highest score ACEEE has ever handed out, but the calculations were also changed for 2014 (detailed PDF here). Oh, and in case you were curious about the ever-popular Tesla Model S? The ACEEE said the 85-kWh model was totally average with 37 points, mostly because it's so heavy.

Other highly ranked green vehicles this year included the Prius family (shocker) as well as the Honda Civic Hybrid, the Mitsubishi Mirage and the Lexus CT 200H. Last year, the Toyota Prius C was named the greenest vehicle and Ford drove away with the meanest title, thanks to three vehicles, the F-350 FFV and F-250 FFV trucks and the E-350 Wagon van. You can see winners of earlier years here and this year's rankings below.
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Make and Model Specifications Emission Standard a MPG:
City
MPG:
Hwy
Green
Score
MERCEDES-BENZ SMART ELECTRIC
DRIVE CONVERTIBLE / COUPE b
Electric (Li-ion bat.) ZEV / Bin 1 3.61 2.77 59
TOYOTA PRIUS C 1.5L 4, auto SULEV II / Bin 3 53 46 57
NISSAN LEAF b Electric (Li-ion bat.) ZEV / Bin 1 3.75 3.01 55
TOYOTA PRIUS 1.8L 4, auto CVT PZEV / Bin 3 51 48 55
HONDA CIVIC HYBRID 1.5L 4, auto PZEV / Bin 2 44 47 55
LEXUS CT 200H 1.8L 4, auto CVT SULEV II / Bin 3 51 48 55
TOYOTA PRIUS PLUG-IN HYBRID c Electric (Li-ion bat.) / 1.8L 4, auto CVT PZEV / Bin 3 3.9 / 51 3.0 / 49 55
MITSUBISHI MIRAGE 1.2L 3, auto CVT Bin 5 / LEV II 37 44 54
HONDA CIVIC NATURAL GAS 1.8L 4, auto [CNG] PZEV / Bin 2 27 38 54
HONDA INSIGHT 1.3L 4, auto CVT Bin 3 41 44 53
MERCEDES-BENZ SMART FORTWO CONVERTIBLE / COUPE 1.0L 3, autol [P] ULEV II / Bin 5 34 38 53
VOLKSWAGEN JETTA HYBRID 1.4L 4, auto [P] PZEV / Bin 3 42 48 53

[CNG] denotes compressed natural gas
[P] denotes premium gasoline.
"auto CVT" denotes continuously variable automatic transmission.
a A listing with two emission standards (e.g., Tier 2 bin 2/ PZEV) denotes a single vehicle carrying both a Federal and a California emission certification. Green Scores for such listings reflect the cleaner of the two certifications.
b Fuel economy for electric vehicles is provided in miles per kilowatt-hour.
c Fuel economy for plug-in hybrids is provided in miles per gallon for gasoline operation and in miles per kilowatt-hour for electric operation
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Greenercars.org Releases 2014 Environmental Scores: Smart ForTwo Electric Drive Tops Greenest Vehicles List

Washington, D.C. (January 28, 2014): Looking forward to vehicle sales above 16 million in 2014 for the first time in seven years, automakers are capitalizing on the market upswing by offering customers a vast array of vehicle options. Today at greenercars.org, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) released its 17th annual comprehensive environmental ratings for vehicles.

This year, the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive tops the "Greenest" list with a highest-ever score of 59 out of 100, just in time for the vehicle's nationwide rollout. Following closely behind are the Toyota Prius C and the Nissan Leaf with scores of 57 and 55 respectively. Toyota's entire family of Priuses performs exceedingly well again this year, with the regular Prius and the Prius plug-in hybrid nabbing spots #4 and #7. Other top scorers for 2014 include the Honda Civic Hybrid (#5), Lexus CT 200H (#6), Honda Insight (#10), and the Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid (#12). Making its return to the "Greenest" list after an absence last year is the Honda Civic Natural Gas vehicle (#9).

New to the list this year is the Mitsubishi Mirage, Mitsubishi's new subcompact offering for the American market. With a Green Score of 55, the gasoline vehicle takes the 8th spot on our list. The only other non-hybrid gasoline model to make the list this year is the Smart ForTwo which placed at #11.

"We've had such an influx of hybrid and electric vehicles in recent years that the race to earn a spot on the "Greenest" list is more competitive than ever, particularly for conventional vehicles. It's encouraging to see automakers investing heavily in eco-savvy vehicles on the whole," said ACEEE lead vehicle analyst Shruti Vaidyanathan.

"From the rise in the number of efficient vehicles in car-sharing and car rental fleets to the myriad advanced technology vehicle choices available to consumers, the leading edge of the U.S. auto market is evolving rapidly," said Steve Nadel, ACEEE's Executive Director.

The greenercars.org website also identifies top widely-available models in each vehicle class. This "Greener Choices" list includes trucks and SUVs such as the Buick Encore, Nissan Rogue, and the Ram 1500 HFE. The Chevrolet Spark and Nissan Juke top their respective car classes. As the list demonstrates, consumers can make "greener choices" whatever their vehicle needs may be. Domestic manufacturers claimed four of the twelve "Greener Choices" spots.

Greenercars.org provides the facts necessary to examine the eco-performance of any 2014 model. The site assigns each vehicle a "Green Score," a singular measure that incorporates lifecycle greenhouse gas and criteria pollutant emissions. This year, a number of updates were made to the greenercars.org methodology to more accurately estimate vehicles' environmental impacts. These include updates to in-use emissions of methane and nitrous oxides, evaporative emissions estimates, and gasoline, diesel, and natural gas "upstream" emissions. Vehicles not intended to achieve significant sales volumes are not eligible for spots on the "Greenest" list.

The "Meanest" list this year is comprised of heavier light-duty vehicles and European sports cars that are the least friendly to the environment. The dirtiest vehicle for 2014 is the Class 2B Ram 2500 with a Green Score of 18, followed by the Bugatti Veyron and the Ford E-150 FFV Wagon with scores of 19 and 21 respectively.Special use vans above 8,500 lbs are given a Green Score but are not included on the "Meanest" list.

In addition to highlighting the year's "Greenest," "Meanest," "Greener Choices," and best-in-class lists, the greenercars.org website features informational write-ups on model year 2014 highlights, a consumer primer on vehicles and the environment, and advice on how to buy green when shopping for a new car or truck.

Summary "Green Scores" of the 1,000+ configurations of all model year 2014 vehicles are made available to subscribers of the greenercars.org interactive database along with each configuration's fuel economy, health-related pollution impacts, and greenhouse gas emissions. Subscribers can also build custom lists for comparing vehicles. Monthly and annual subscriptions to greenercars.org are available on the website.

For access to all 2014 environmental scores, media should contact Patrick Kiker at 202.507.4010, pkiker@aceee.org.

About ACEEE: The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy acts as a catalyst to advance energy efficiency policies, programs, technologies, investments, and behaviors. For information about ACEEE and its programs, publications, and conferences, visit aceee.org.