From global warming to water pollution, air pollution, deforestation, and more, our planet continues to face all sorts of environmental challenges. Thanks to a push in global eco-conscious awareness, many of us are making eco-friendly choices and adjustments in multiple aspects of our lives to do our part to help the planet. Driving green marks one action we can take to reduce air pollution, harmful greenhouse gas emissions and help conserve energy.
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) releases an annual report of the greenest vehicles at the beginning of each year. Each vehicle on the ranking is given a Green Score, which is reportedly “based on an environmental damage index (EDX), which reflects the cost to human health from air pollution associated with vehicle manufacturing, the production and distribution of fuel or electricity, and vehicle tailpipes.”
Notably, none of Detroit’s Big Three automakers (General Motors, Ford, or Chrysler) cars earned a spot on the greenest auto list this year. The Top 5 Most Eco-Friendly Cars for 2019 are discussed below.
1. Hyundai Ioniq Electric (EV)
EDX: 0.68, Green Score: 67
Hyundai’s Ioniq Electric is a zero emissions vehicle which travels 124 miles on a fully-charged 28 kWh battery. It boasts an EPA-estimated 150 MPGe in the city and 122 MPGe on the highway. Its electric motor pushes out 118 hp at 218 lb-ft of torque. Plus, the car features sustainable materials on its interior, using composites made from materials like volcanic rock and sugar cane. The EV offers remote charging management via Hyundai’s Blue Link system. The exterior is nicely-designed.
2. Hyundai Ioniq Blue
EDX: 0.74, Green Score: 65
Hyundai’s Ioniq Blue is the entry-level hybrid model. As a hybrid, it features both a gasoline engine and an electric motor. The engine is a 1.6 L GDI DOHC 16-valve inline 4-cylinder. The combined horsepower of the hybrid system is 139 hp. The battery capacity is 1.56 kWh and the gas mileage comes in at an EPA rating of 57 city/59 highway. Electric power is generated by a permanent magnet synchronous motor. The interior also features sustainable materials.
EDX: 0.74 Green Score: 65
The BMW i3 is an all-electric hatchback that estimates an impressive driving range of 153 miles. The 2019 model boasts an upgraded 42.2 kWh battery from a previous 33.2 kWh battery. Powered by a 170-horsepower electric motor that drives the rear wheels, a range-extended version could add 90 more miles of range via a 2-cylinder gas-powered engine. A sportier i3s version bumps the horsepower up to 184 pound-feet of torque. The car features a unique, futuristic body style. Furthermore, it was designed, developed and produced with maximum sustainability in mind. Wind turbines were used to power production and 95 percent of the vehicle is recyclable.
4. Honda Clarity Electric
EDX: 0.76 Green Score: 64
The Honda Clarity Electric is a zero-emission EV featuring a 25.5 kWh battery which lasts about 89 miles. The coaxial-type high-output electric motor touts 161 horsepower. The car also features a 6.6 kW onboard 32-amp charger which yields a 17 percent charge in roughly 30 minutes. It has a 1-speed direct drive transmission and an EPA estimated gas mileage of 126/103 city/highway. The car has a sleek, aerodynamic exterior design with an interior crafted with sustainable materials. The vehicle comfortably seats for five passengers.
5. Kia Soul Electric
EDX: 0.79 Green Score: 63
The Kia Soul Electric stands out from the pack with its notably boxy, futuristic look. The drive range is estimated at 111 miles on a charge and its rated to pull an EPA estimated gas mileage of 124.93 MPGe city/highway. The A/C Synchronous Permanent Magnet is rated at 109 hp/210 lb.-ft. of torque. It also features a 6.6 kW onboard charger, and regenerative braking system. Up to five passengers can fit comfortably in the car.
By Lori Melton