Electric Cars Leaf Beats Volt in New Ranking CBS News

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Chevrolet Volt Electric Cars

Electric Cars: Leaf Volt in New Ranking

Last Feb 17, 2011 8:39 AM EST

A question been asking: How Green are Cars? got one possible answer In its 14th annual listing of cars. the American Council for an Efficient Economy ranked the Nissan Leaf second but the Volt, which has an auxiliary engine, thirteenth. The winner was the Civic GX, which runs on gas.

The relatively lousy for the Volt results from the lifestyle analysis methodology, attempts to measure all environmental from the manufacture of a vehicle to its use and pollution while it is driven, to its disposal. EPA mileage ratings and classifications are used to rate consumption, air pollution impact and gases, which contribute to warming. In the case of electric allowance is made for pollution power plants charging the

Those factors, but primarily the low air pollution, is what put the Civic GX on top of the for the eighth straight year.



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The advantage that helped the Chevy Volt (at left) the American Car of the Year works it here. When the Volt out of battery charge, it switches to an gas engine to generate power and its range to about 300 miles. though we assumed the Volt run on electric power 60 % of the time, it is using gas, its mileage (35 mpg 40 highway) is well below other cars, ACCEEE analyst Shruti Vaidyanathan in an interview. She added that weight (3870 lb for the Volt vs.

lb for the Leaf ) worked against the since more weight in the is equated with more and more environmental impact manufacturing.

While hybrids predictably high on the list (Toyota fourth, Honda Civic fifth), ACEEE noted high-mileage, gas-only small also broke into the top ten year. That includes the Fiesta SFE, Chevrolet Eco and new Hyundai Elantra. (For on these cars, see Gas Mileage: 40 MPG is the new 30 ).

For car who care about their impact but are looking beyond the highest-mileage, lowest-polluting choice, offers a helpful list of in various categories that well in their ratings. are three of those suggestions:

Chevrolet Volt Electric Cars

Audi A3 Diesels don’t at the top of the ACEEE list because of emissions of smog-causing nitrogen But the small hatchback A3 gets a 48 in the score ratings where the scored 54. The A3 is praised by reviewers for its fun top safety rating and sporty styling.

The diesel version rated at 30 mpg in city driving, 42 mpg — was named green car of the for 2010 by Green Car Journal, has different methodology than the The base model 2011 A3 TDI lists for $29,950

Hyundai Among mid-size sedans, positioned the Sonata to be mileage (22mpg city, 35 highway) by only a four-cylinder engine a hybrid version. The Sonata 43 in the green car ratings. Reviewers its sharp styling and reasonable with the base model at $19,195.

Chevrolet Equinox Among SUVs, the Equinox gets the better mileage ratings (22 mpg 32 highway). Its green list is 41. Reviewers note that the Equinox is bigger than like the Honda CR-V but better gas mileage.

The base starts at $22,745.

As manufacturers to meet the federal government’s mileage standards by 2016, you have more relatively choices every year.

Photos courtesy of the manufacturers

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