The unheralded Hyundai Ioniq, the new midsize sedan with the unusual name, has the smallest environmental footprint among 2017 vehicles, according to American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).
The 20th annual environmental ratings, available on greenercars.org, is a comprehensive list of the year’s Greenest, Meanest, Greener Choices, and best-in-class vehicles.
“Anyone buying a new car now has plenty of options for making an environmentally smart decision,” said Eric Junga, Transportation Research Analyst at ACEEE. “Whether you are looking to purchase the greenest car available, or the greenest vehicle for your needs such as a minivan, or simply stay away from the bottom of the list, greenercars.org can help you.”
The following vehicles comprise the Greenest List for 2017. Each car is given a whole number Green Score based on an environmental damage index (EDX). It estimates pollution from vehicle manufacturing, the production and distribution of fuel and vehicle tailpipes.
The Hyundai Ioniq tops the Greenest List with the highest-ever Green Score of 64, followed closely by the BMW i3. The Ioniq is the first midsize vehicle to that the top spot in 11 years.
The Ioniq is expected to hit the market initially with a 110-mile range, but Hyundai has already mentioned the possibility of a 200-plus-mile version in the future. A hybrid version of the Ioniq will also be available and scores comparably to other vehicles on the Greenest List.
Toyota’s Prius line performs exceedingly well once again, with the lithium-ion Prius Eco variant nabbing the third spot, while the new plug-in Prius Prime and Prius C claim spots 8 and 9.
Two hybrid vehicles — the Honda Accord Hybrid and the Kia Niro Hybrid — claim 11th and 12th position.
For the second consecutive year, the Greenest List is comprised of plug-in and hybrid vehicles and contains no vehicle with solely an internal combustion engine.
The Mitsubishi Mirage scores the highest of any purely gasoline-powered vehicle with a 58, narrowly missing a spot on this year’s list with a Green Score just below the Niro’s.
“For the second year in a row, plug-in electric vehicles—all-electrics and plug-in hybrids–dominate the Greenest List, proving that these vehicles are really coming into their own,” said Junga. “Even the all-electrics are associated with significant emissions, however, arising from vehicle production and the electricity used for charging. It’s notable that conventional hybrids continue to be environmentally competitive with the plug-ins, taking four of the Greenest slots.”
Vehicles new to the list this year Chevrolet Bolt and the new Honda Accord Hybrid, which claim the 6th and 11th spots respectively. The Bolt is the first EV with a range of more than 200 miles to make the Greenest List, and at $29,995 after federal tax credits, it opens the EV market to more buyers.
The Honda Accord Hybrid, on hiatus last year, claims class-leading fuel economy with modest improvements over its predecessor. Once again this year, a diverse array of manufacturers is represented among the top 12 vehicles.
Greenercars.org also identifies practical options in each class among the top widely available, automatic transmission, petroleum-fueled models, because many of the vehicles on the Greenest list are not widely available or may not meet the needs of every individual.
The Greener Choices list includes trucks and SUVs, such as the Chevrolet Colorado diesel and Honda CR-V. The new Chrysler Pacifica fills the slot for vans on the Greener Choices list and is accompanied on the market this year by a new plug-in hybrid version, which earns an impressive score of 49, better than many compact cars.
The gasoline-powered smart fortwo coupe and Toyota Yaris iA top their respective car classes, scoring just below the vehicles on the Greenest List. As the list demonstrates, consumers can make greener choices whatever their vehicle needs.
Here’s the list of the top-12 Greenest cars in the United Stated for 2017:
1. Hyundai Ioniq Electric, 0.78, 64
2. BMW i3 (60Ah). 0.80, 64
3. Toyota Prius Eco, 0.85, 62
4. Fiat 500E, 0.86, 62
5. Nissan Leaf, 0.91, 60
6. Chevrolet Bolt 0.93, 59
7. Kia Soul Electric, 0.94, 59
8. Toyota Prius Prime, 0.95, 59
9. Toyota Prius C 0.97, 58
10. Ford Focus Electric, 0.98, 58
11. Honda Accord Hybrid, 0.98, 58
12. Kia Niro FE Hybrid, 0.98, 58.