Electric Cars Gain Ground in Environmental Vehicle Rankings

February 5, 2015

Smart ForTwo Electric Drive Tops Greenest Vehicles List; American Electric Vehicles Make a Strong Showing

Washington, DC (February 5,2015): Today at greenercars.org, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) released its 18th annual comprehensive environmental ratings for vehicles. The publication of the 2015 ratings coincides with the release of ACEEE’s brand new greenercars.org website that will now offer subscription-free access to all vehicle scores from model year 2000 and later.

The following vehicles comprise the Greenest List for 2015:

Make and model Specifications Emission standard a MPG city MPG hwy Green Score
Mercedez-Benz Smart Fortwo Elec. Drive Convertible / Coupe 1, b Electric (Li-ion bat.) ZEV / Bin 1 3.61 2.77 61
Chevrolet Spark EV b Electric (Li-ion bat.) ZEV / Bin 1 3.81 3.24 59
Fiat 500E b Electric (Li-ion bat.) ZEV / Bin 1 3.63 3.21 59
Toyota Prius C 1.5L 4, auto CVT SULEV II / Bin 3 53 46 57
Nissan Leaf b Electric (Li-ion bat.) ZEV / Bin 1 3.75 3.01 57
Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid 2, c Electric (Li-ion bat.) / 1.8L 4, auto CVT PZEV / Bin 3 3.90 / 51 3.04 / 49 54
Lexus CT 200H 1.8L 4, auto CVT SULEV II / Bin 3 51 48 54
Honda Civic Hybrid 1.5L 4, auto CVT Bin 3 44 47 54
Honda Civic Natural Gas 1.8L 4, auto [CNG] PZEV / Bin 2 27 38 54
Mitsubishi Mirage 1.2L 3, auto CVT Bin 5 / LEV II 37 44 54
Ford Focus Electric b Electric (Li-ion bat.) ZEV / Bin 1 3.271031094 2.941176471 53
Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid 1.4L 4, auto [P] PZEV / Bin 3 42 48 53


[CNG] denotes compressed natural gas
[P] Denotes Premium Gasoline. 
"Auto CVT" denotes continuously variable automatic transmission.
a A listing with two emission standards (e.g., Tier 2 Bin 2/ PZEV) denotes a single vehicle carrying both a federal and a California emission certification. Green Scores for such listings reflect the cleaner of the two certifications.
b Fuel economy for electric vehicles Is provided In miles per kilowatt-hour.
c Fuel economy for plug-in hybrids is provided in miles per gallon for gasoline operation and in miles per kilowatt-hour for electric operation
1. The gasoline-powered version of this vehicle scores a 53
2. The non-plug in Prius also earns a Green Score of 54

The Smart ForTwo Electric Drive tops the Greenest List once again this year with the highest Green Score ever. Toyota’s Prius Plug-in and original Prius perform exceedingly well again in 2015, jointly taking spot #6. The original Prius also scores a 54 (but is not listed on the Greenest). At #10, the Mitsubishi Mirage was the sole conventional vehicle to earn a spot on the list this year, although the conventional Smart ForTwo is not listed only because its all-electric counterpart had already claimed a spot on the Greenest List. Six out of 12 places in this year’s Greenest List were claimed by plug-in electric vehicles.

“As the electric vehicle market continues to develop, we’re seeing a number of different options from a variety of automakers, including several from American manufacturers,” said ACEEE lead vehicle analyst Shruti Vaidyanathan.

Electric vehicles claimed additional spots on this year’s Greenest List largely due to the inclusion of one vehicle that just missed a spot on our 2014 Greenest List (the Ford Focus Electric), as well as two vehicles that were left off the list last year due to low sales volume (the Spark EV and Fiat 500E). Two mid-size vehicles also appear on the Greenest List: the Nissan Leaf and Toyota Prius Plug-in, indicating that green need not mean small. This year’s list also features a diverse array of manufacturers: nine different automakers are represented by the 12 top-scoring vehicles, including two American manufacturers (Chevrolet and Ford) and two European manufacturers.

At the same time, it’s important to note that some of the Greenest are only being offered in a handful of states, and that the larger classes are not represented. Hence greenercars.org also identifies practical options among the top widely available, automatic transmission, petroleum-fueled models. The Greener Choices list includes trucks and SUVs, such as the Ford F-150, the Chevrolet Trax, and the Nissan Quest. The gasoline-powered Chevrolet Spark and Honda Fit top their respective car classes. As the list demonstrates, consumers can make greener choices whatever their vehicle needs may be. Domestic manufacturers claimed five of the 12 Greener Choices spots:

Make and model Specifications Emission standard a MPG city MPG hwy Green Score
Toyota Prius C 1.5L 4, auto CVT SULEV II / Bin 3 53 46 57
Toyota Prius 1.8L 4, auto CVT PZEV / Bin 3 51 48 54
Mercedes-Benz Smart ForTwo Convertible / Coupe 1.0L 3, auto [P] ULEV II / Bin 5 34 38 53
Honda Fit 1.5L 4, auto CVT LEV III ULEV125 / Bin 5 34 41 51
Toyota Prius V 1.8L 4, auto CVT SULEV II / Bin 3 44 40 51
Chevrolet Spark 1.2L 4, auto CVT Bin 4 30 39 51
Ford C-Max Hybrid 2.0L 4, auto CVT Bin 3 42 37 48
Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid 2.0L 4, auto CVT Awd PZEV / Bin 3 30 34 46
Chevrolet Trax 1.4L 4, auto stk Bin 4 29 34 45
Chevrolet Colorado / GMC Canyon 2.5L 4, auto Bin 4 20 27 38
Nissan Quest 3.5L 6, auto CVT LEV III ULEV125 / Bin 5 20 27 36
Ford F-150 2.7L 6, auto stk Bin 4 19 26 36


[P] Denotes Premium Gasoline
"Auto CVT" denotes continuously variable automatic transmission
a. A listing with two emission standards (e.g., Tier 2 Bin 2/ PZEV) denotes a single vehicle carrying both a federal and a California emission certification. Green Scores for such listings reflect the cleaner of the two certifications.

Greenercars.org provides the facts necessary to examine the eco-performance of any 2015 model. The site assigns each vehicle a Green Score, a single measure that incorporates lifecycle greenhouse gas and criteria pollutant emissions. Updates to this year’s methodology include the incorporation of a fuel cell vehicle analysis and a new estimate of nuclear damage costs.

This year, in addition to providing Green Scores for electric vehicles based on the national average grid mix, greenercars.org will include a downloadable spreadsheet tool that will allow users to calculate region-specific Green Scores for electric vehicles based on their local grid mix, along with annual fuel cost estimates using regional electricity prices.

“How green your electric vehicle is has a lot to do with where you plug it in. A car that is charged using electricity generated from natural gas or renewables is going to have significantly less impact on the environment than one charged on a coal-heavy grid,” said Vaidyanathan.

The Meanest List this year is comprised of heavier medium-duty vehicles and European sports cars that are the least friendly to the environment:

Make and model Specifications Emission standard a MPG city MPG hwy Green Score
Ram 2500 (CLASS 2B) 1, 2 5.7L 8, auto 4wd LEV II 12 17 17
Chevrolet G2500 Express / GMC Savana (CARGO CONVERSION) (MDPV) 3, 4, 5 6.0L 8, auto Bin 8 / ULEV II 10 15 18
Bugatti Veyron 8.0L 16, auto Awd [P] Bin 5 / LEV II 8 15 19
Bentley Mulsanne 6.8L 8, auto stk [P] Bin 5 / LEV II 11 18 21
Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG 5.5L 8, auto 4wd [P] ULEV II / Bin 5 12 14 21
Mercedes-Benz G 550 5.5L 8, auto 4wd [P] ULEV II / Bin 5 12 15 22
Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe 6 6.7L 12, auto stk [P] Bin 5 / LEV II 11 19 23
Lamborghini Aventador Roadster 6.5L 12, auto Awd [P] Bin 5 / LEV II 10 16 23
Toyota Sequoia FFV 7 5.7L 8, auto stk 4wd Bin 5 13 17 23
Lexus LX 570 5.7L 8, auto stk 4wd [P] ULEV II / Bin 5 12 17 23
Ferrari FF 6.3L 12, auto 4wd [P] Bin 5 / LEV II 11 16 23
Nissan Armada 5.6L 8, auto 4wd Bin 5 / LEV II 12 18 23


"auto stk" denotes manually adjustable automatic transmission
a. A listing with two emission standards (e.g., Tier 2 Bin 2/ PZEV) denotes a single vehicle carrying both a federal and a California emission certification. Green Scores for such listings reflect the cleaner of the two certifications.
1. The 2wd version of this vehicle earns a Green Score of 18
2. The ULEV version of this vehicle earns a Green Score of 21
3. The Tier 2-only versions of these vehicles (bin 8 ) also earn a Green Score of 18
4. The passenger versions of these vehicles earn a Green Score of 19
5. The 3500 version of these vehicles earn a Green Score of 19
6. The Rolls-Royce Phantom EWB also earns a Green Score of 23
7. The non-FFV version of this vehicle also earns a Green Score of 23

In addition to highlighting the year’s Greenest,Meanest,Greener Choices, and best-in-class lists, the greenercars.org website features informative write-ups on model year 2015 highlights, a consumer primer on vehicles and the environment, and advice on how to buy green when shopping for a new car or truck.

Green Scores of the 1,000+ configurations of all model year 2015 vehicles are available for free in the greenercars.org interactive database, along with each configuration’s fuel economy, health-related pollution impacts, and greenhouse gas emissions. Visitors to the database can also build custom lists for comparing vehicles.

Media should contact Patrick Kiker at 202.507.4043, pkiker@aceee.org.