Electric cars made by Mercedes-Benz, Chevy and Fiat have been named the “greenest” cars on U.S. highways by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.
Big gas-powered vehicles made by Dodge and Chevy got failing grades and were named the “meanest” environmental offenders.
Mercedes’ Smart Car for Two got the top score -- 61 points out of a possible 100, the highest in the environmental organization’s history -- on a scale that measures the energy required to manufacture, operate and dispose of each vehicle, against such metrics as vehicle weight, battery weight and other details.
The Chevy Spark EV and Fiat 500E were right behind, each with 59 points.
Joining the above-50 scorers were the Toyota Prius C, Nissan Leaf, Lexus CT, Honda Civic, Ford Focus Electric and Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid.
Also on the list: the Mitsubishi Mirage, the only conventional gasoline vehicle to make the cut.
The ACEEE awards, announced on the organization’s greenercars.com website, are the 18th annual kudos.
Chevy, having secured the No. 2 “greenest” spot with its Spark, also won the No. 2 “meanest” position, for its part in producing the Chevrolet/GMC G2500 cargo van. That vehicle got a green figure of only 18, just above the dubious winner -- the Dodge Ram 2500 truck, which scored a 17.
Those big gas guzzlers were not alone. Also on the “meanest” list were the Nissan Armada, Toyota Sequoia, Lesux LX and Mercedes G 550.
And it wasn’t just trucks. Also scoring very low numbers were performance vehicles. First or worst among those was the Bugatti Veyron, followed by the Bentley Mulsanne, Mercedes G 63 AMG, Rolls Royce Phantom, Lamborghini Aventador and Ferrari FF.
ACEEE lead vehicle analyst Shruti Vaidyanathan said the agency was impressed with the higher number of electrics on the list, the result of more companies competing in that space.
“We’ve typically only seen two or three spots on the greenest list going to electric vehicles in the last few years,” he said. “The electric car market is continuing to develop with more and more manufacturers producing these vehicles.”