A report just released by the Union of Concerned Scientists gives Honda and Toyota the thumbs up in the who-is-the-greenest-auto-maker-of-them-all sweepstakes, while ranking Daimler Chrysler bottom of the league.
It's not only because Honda and Toyota are leaders in hybrid vehicle technology that they've got the kudos...
Don Mackenzie, vehicles engineer at UCS who penned the report — Automaker Rankings 2007 - says the ratings result from the Japanese companies doing well across their vehicle ranges. This means areas like smog production (based on fuel consumption, and emissions across vehicle ranges), were firmly taken into account. MacKenzie says, "There is a huge gap between the cleanest and dirtiest automakers. The winners are using clean technology across their entire fleets. The losers are installing it piecemeal, or not at all."
The report focused on the US but it is fair to say the results also apply to other markets too because many of the makes and models sold in the US are available worldwide. The US has just over 30 per cent of the world's vehicle market, so it's quite representative of the global market.
And bottom-placed company Daimler Chrysler — what are they doing? Well, not enough, it seems. This is perhaps not as surprising as it might initally seem. Many of the company's models major on performance (think, Mercedes-Benz...) and not specifically on fuel economy. Currently there are no Mercedes-Benz hybrids on sale, for example, despite the company unveiling a top-range S-Class hybrid concept back two years ago.
M-B also teamed-up with General Motors back in 2005 to jointly develop hybrid technology but so far no road-going Mercedes hybrid has seen the tarmac. Early this year M-B inked a similar development deal with BMW for development of hybrid technology in the 'premium car segment' but still the company is preferring to put its green cred into relatively fuel-efficient diesel engined vehicles, which unfortunately still produce smog and ill health-causing particulates.