Surprise! Not All of the Most Eco Friendly Cars are Hybrid or Electric

eco friendly honda civicThe buzz about hybrid and electric cars being better for the environment may be loud and on the front page of all the news outlets, but here’s a fact: not all of the most eco friendly cars out there are hybrid or electric. According to the private American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE)’s fourteenth annual  environmental ratings chart, it’s a gas-powered car that takes top honors.


The Honda Civic GX, a traditional gas-powered car, scored fifty-four points in the survey and took top honors for the eighth consecutive year. This year second place went to the Nissan Leaf and third place to another gas-powered car- the two-seater Smart Fortwo.

In fairness, the next three spots were taken by hybrids – the Toyota Prius, Honda Civic and Honda Insight, respectively). Ford’s new Fiesta SFE (Super Fuel Economy) and the Chevy Cruze Eco followed. Rounding out the top twelve were the Chevy Volt and three gas-powered cars, the Hyundai Elantra, Mini Cooper and Toyota Yaris.

Said ACEEE vehicle analyst Shruti Vaidyanathan, while announcing the results (which included five new models in the top twelve), “We’re seeing an increasing number of highly efficient gasoline options from both foreign and domestic automakers along with the first electric vehicles.”

It may be surprising to you that hybrids and plug-ins weren’t dominating the list, but as Therese Langer, ACEEE’s transportation director explained, it actually makes sense. “Vehicles running on electricity emit nothing from the tailpipe, but their ‘upstream’ emissions can be substantial depending on where they’re charged. As U.S. power generation becomes cleaner, these vehicles scores will rise.”

We love this survey because it’s not just about what comes out of the tailpipe, but a three-sixty look at fuel consumption, emissions that create global warming and climate change and pollution and emissions associated with battery manufacture and disposal. Hybrids actually lose points because of their batteries.

Article excerpted from


About minesgreencircle

Founded in 2008, the Mines Green Circle is the special Green Environmental Unit of Palace of the Golden Horses and Mines Wellness Hotel for “Better Environment, Better Health”. It advocates green practices amongst the personnel of the Palace of the Golden Horses and Mines Wellness Hotels as well as its guests.

Posted on February 28, 2011, in Eco News and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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