GreenerCars 2023: Efficiency and weight – not just electric vs. gas – shape environmental impact
(ACEEE blog, 28 Feb 2023) The top five most environmentally friendly cars in the annual GreenerCars ratings are all-electric and the next five are gasoline hybrids. Led by the Mini Cooper Hardtop EV, the Greenest List was rounded out by a mix of EVs and hybrids from Japanese and Korean automakers.
EVs are among the least polluting cars on the market, but because powertrain efficiency and vehicle weight also have a significant effect on a car’s environmental impact, some hybrid and gasoline vehicles outperform some EVs.
The GreenerCars scores from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) are based on an environmental damage index (EDX) that reflects the cost to human health from pollution associated with vehicle tailpipe emissions, vehicle manufacturing and disposal, and the production and distribution of auto fuel and electricity.
A comparison of three models that are available in both electric and gasoline-fueled versions—the Mini Cooper Hardtop, Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin, and Ford F-150—demonstrates that while the EV versions have lower environmental impacts than their internal combustion engine (ICE) counterparts, heavier and less efficient vehicles cause more environmental damage, whether they are gasoline-fueled or electric.