For the first time since the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) started releasing its ‘greenest automaker award,’ Honda did not take the crown.
This year, Hyundai-Kia take the top position, thanks to the company’s quick adoption of small turbocharged engines along with its hybrid offerings in the Kia Optima and Hyundai Sonata. Honda takes the seconds spot while Toyota, Nissan and Volkswagen place third, fourth and fifth respectively.
“Honda continues to lead the way in many vehicle classes, but it’s started to lag the industry in its midsize fleet – which includes its best-selling Accord, and accounts for a quarter of the company’s sales,” said the author of the report Dave Cooke.
American automakers didn’t fare well. Ford, GM and Chrysler sit on the very bottom, with Ford being the best of the three while Chrysler scored the worst. These are also the only three companies that have more environmental impact than the industry average.
Overall however, the industry is doing better at cutting emissions, as this is the first time that all eight automakers involved reduced their average carbon and smog-forming emission compared to their fleet averages from back in 1998, the first year the report from UCS was put out. Since 2000, smog-forming tailpipe emission from the average car or truck have been cut by 87 percent, while global warming emissions have been reduced by nearly 20 percent since 1998.
These gains can be attributed to the government’s new fuel efficiency standards, which mandate that each automaker’s fleet must meet a 54.5 mpg average by 2025. “Now, consumers are demanding cars that go further on a gallon of gas and new standards are pushing the automakers to deliver. The big lesson here is that the smog and global warming standards are working and there is much more to be gained as these standards progress,” said Cooke.
The scores were calculated by looking at each company’s fleet of new vehicles, and determining the effects they have on global warming and smog-forming emissions.
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