Mitsubishi Ends Honda’s 8-Year Reign on Green Car List

by | Feb 8, 2012

The Mitsubishi i-MIEV has unseated the Honda Civic Natural Gas from its throne and become the first electric car in 12 years to top environmental rankings from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

This is the first time in eight years that the Civic Natural Gas hasn’t topped the ACEEE “Greenest” list, which have been going for 14 years. The Honda Civic Natural Gas did improve its fuel economy this year, and ties for second place with the Nissan Leaf. They are followed by the Toyota Prius, the Honda Insight, and the Smart ForTwo.

With a combined city and highway fuel economy of 112 miles per gallon equivalent, the i-MIEV outperforms all other vehicles sold in the U.S., ACEEE says. It earned a score of 58, the highest since the rankings began.

ACEEE lead vehicle analyst Shruti Vaidyanathan said the i-MIEV outscores other vehicles even when one takes into account the emissions generated from the electricity fueling the car.

Hybrids dominate the list this year, taking half of the spots. But use of such technology does not guarantee a high ranking. New offerings from Hyundai, Kia and Infiniti failed to break into the top 12 spots. Gasoline-powered vehicles take three of the top 12.

Scores are based on tailpipe emissions, fuel consumption, and emissions of gases that contribute to climate change.

On its website, ACEEE also identifies top green choices in each vehicle class, with the Chevrolet Sonic-5 and Hyundai Sonata topping their respective classes. Trucks and SUVs such as the Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Canyon, Honda Odyssey, and the Ford F-150 (FFV) are also included.

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