Green Cars Guide How to Choose one and What are the Best Green Cars

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Green Cars List & Guide How to Choose one and What are the Best Green Cars

Green cars are becoming more mainstream today, for a variety of reasons. Here in America we still have plenty of climate change deniers that either don’t think it is happening or that it is not man made, however, that is not the subject today. The fact of the matter is that higher fuel prices can drive people to greener automobiles whom otherwise wouldn’t care one way or the other about how good the vehicle is for the environment. So we have those whom choose these cars to save money on gas, and then we have those who choose these cars to help the environment. In either case, it is good for the planet and everyone!

The EPA Green Vehicle Guide is a good place to obtain relevant information regarding the environmental performance of green cars and provides guests with dynamic search and sorting options. You can make side by side comparisons with up to three vehicles and you can also customize your searches, and even include photos!

The list is based upon the Greenhouse Gas Score, which reflects the emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. This score is related to a vehicles fuel economy of course, as those with higher fuel efficiency will burn less gas thereby emitting less CO2. Other criteria includes the type of fuel burned as different fuels contain differing amounts of carbon. The higher the score in this category, the better!

hybrid

Man fueling Hybrid Green Cars

Another factor we used is the Air Pollution Score, which is also included in our list, and again, those with the highest score are better. This score reflects the tailpipe emissions that contribute to local and regional air pollution which can create smog, haze, and health issues for those at risk, and in certain cases the population in general. The emissions that are included when factoring these scores are NMOG, NMHC or THC (types of carbon-containing compounds, including hydrocarbons), NOx (Oxides of Nitrogen, which combine with hydrocarbons to create smog), PM or Particulate Matter (tiny particles of solid matter that lodge in the lungs and deposit on buildings), CO (Carbon Monoxide, a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas), HCHO (Formaldehyde, a lung irritant and carcinogen).

We also included the combined fuel economy or combined MPG for our list, which reflects the overall estimated fuel efficiency of the vehicle, and also reflects on the Greenhouse Gas Score, as common sense would dictate that a vehicle that gets better gas mileage will burn less gas, therefore, emit less CO2.

We have compiled a list of the greenest cars based on the criteria provided by the EPA guide, however, we have made our list more stringent than the EPA’s list. We only include vehicles with a score of 8 or higher in the Greenhouse Gas score, however there are plenty of vehicles that score a 7 in that category.

Green Cars

Model Year 2012 Green Cars Guide

Legend: APS = Air Pollution Score – – GGS = Greenhouse Gas Score (For both the higher scores are better!)

Model Combined MPG —APS— —GGS—
Chevy Cruze Eco (Man.Trans.) 33 6 8
Chevrolet Sonic 1.4L 33 6 8
Chevrolet Sonic 5 1.4L 33 6 8
Chevrolet Volt (Electric/Gas) 94/37 10/6 10/8
FIAT 500 1.4L 33 5 8
Ford Fiesta 33 6 8
Ford Focus SFE 33 6 8
Ford Fusion Hybrid 39 7 9
Honda CR-Z 34 9 8
Honda Civic HF 33 8 8
Honda Civic Hybrid 44 8 9
Honda Insight 42 8 9
Hyundai Accent 33 5 8
Hyundai Elantra 33 5 8
KIA Rio 33 5 8
Lexus CT 200h 42 7 9
Lexus HS 250h 35 7 8
Lincoln MKS Hybrid 39 7 9
Mercedes Benz F-Cell 52 10 10
Nissan Versa 1.6L CVT 33 5 8
Toyota Prius 42 7 9
Toyota Yaris 33 5 8

Smart Cars

Smart Cars

References:
Model Year 2012 Green Vehicle Guide All Models

EPA Fuel Economy Labeling of Motor Vehicle Revisions to Improve Calculation of Fuel Economy Estimates PDF

Green Car Guide Lookup Vehicle By Vehicle/Type or Greenest Vehicles

We hope that our green cars guide has helped you make a better choice for the environment and the planet, or if you prefer, gas mileage and for your pocket book! Peace my friends!

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