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Top-ranked green cars you want cruising your city's streets

Submitted by scc staff on February 6, 2015

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) is out with its 18th annual environmental ratings for vehicles. As cities work to reduce vehicle emissions and parking challenges – this year's winner is going to look pretty attractive.

That honor went to the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive made by Council Lead Partner Mercedes-Benz – and it's not the first time it has won. But what's different this year is that the Smart Fortwo received the highest green score ever.

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.

“How green your electric vehicle is has a lot to do with where you plug it in," she added. "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."

Smart Fortwo had a green score of 61, followed by the Chevrolet Spark EV and the Fiat 500E which both had green scores of 59. You can see the full green vehicle list here.

The meanest vehicles on the road
ACEEE – which is a member of the Council's Advisory Board -- also takes on what it calls the "meanest" or least environmentally friendly vehicles. This year's meanest list includes heavier, medium-duty vehicles and European sports cars.  The lowest green score – at 17 – went to the Ram 2500 (Class 2B).

You can read more about the rankings on ACEEE's new website, which also features 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.

More on EVs…
Mercedes-Benz moves EVs to the mainstream
How new technologies can clean up commutes