Hyundai Ioniq EV, BMW i3 top list of 'greenest' vehicles

The Toyota Prius is hot on their collective heels, though.

Andrew Krok Reviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
Andrew Krok
2 min read

If you're looking at fuel economy figures to determine how "green" a car is, you're only looking at a piece of crust, and not the whole pie. That's where the ACEEE Greenest List comes in.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy is a nonprofit that seeks to advance environmentally friendly programs and tech. Its Greenest List ranks current cars by taking into account manufacturing pollution, fuel production and distribution, as well as tailpipe emissions. It uses these figures to determine which vehicles are truly "green."

This year, the Hyundai Ioniq EV took the top spot with a score of 64. The BMW i3, Toyota Prius Eco, Fiat 500E, Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Bolt EV round out the top half of the list. Further down we find the Kia Soul EV, Toyota Prius Prime, Toyota Prius C, Ford Focus Electric, Honda Accord Hybrid and Kia Niro FE.

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric
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2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric

The damn thing isn't even on sale yet, and it's already topping lists.


You might have noticed a trend on that list -- there isn't a single car that uses a gas engine by itself. The Mitsubishi Mirage and its three-cylinder engine barely missed the 12th spot, but every car on the list is a hybrid, plug-in hybrid or EV. This is the second year in a row that the list hasn't included a gas engine by itself.

The ACEEE acknowledges that not everybody can purchase and use an EV daily, so it also compiled a Greener Choices list, which draws from multiple segments to point out some of the greener cars across the industry. This list includes the Smart Fortwo, Toyota Yaris iA, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue Hybrid, Chrysler Pacifica and Ford F-150.

Their green scores are considerably lower than the threshold required for the Greenest List, but they're much better than the cars that appear on the Meanest List. The ACEEE also tracks some of the worst offenders on the market, and for the second year running, the Mercedes-AMG G65 SUV claims the worst Green Score on the market.

As it should -- it's a giant metal box with a twin-turbocharged V12 and the aerodynamic profile of a brick wall.

Ride along in Hyundai's autonomous Ioniq

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