Honda Wins UCS "Greenest Automaker" Prize for 5th Year in a Row

honda logo photo

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Guess Who Still Lags Behind?
Each year, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) gives environmental scores to automakers based on average per-mile smog pollution and global warming emissions of the entire fleet of vehicles sold. Honda took the top prize this year, but it's not a big surprise, as it's the same company as in the past 4 years. Toyota and Hyundai finished one point behind, tied in 2nd place, and Volkswagen took the 4th.Carmakers Formely Known as "The Big Three" are Still Lagging
The news aren't very good for primarily US-based car makers (they're pretty much all global companies with factories and suppliers everywhere now, so it doesn't mean as much as it used to).

With the industry average assigned a score of 100, automakers' scores reflect how far above or below average an automaker pollutes. Lower scores are better; higher scores are worse. [...]

Honda finished with an overall score of 86, reflecting a fleet 14 percent cleaner than that of the top eight manufacturers combined. Toyota and Hyundai each finished with 87. Volkswagen came in fourth place (90), followed by Nissan (93), Ford (108), General Motors (109) and Chrysler (113).

This means that while Toyota is 13% better than the industry average, Chrysler is exactly the opposite, 13% worse.

The good news is that all automakers have improved their performance since UCS first ranked them for the model year 1998, and the gap between the worst and best automaker has narrowed.

Keeping Ratings in Perspective
One thing to keep in mind, though, is that the ranking is based on fleet averages. This is good because the atmosphere doesn't care where the pollution and greenhouse gases come from, but this has the downside that some companies can have variability between models. For example, Toyota makes really efficient hybrids and monster pickups and SUVs with big V8s, while Honda makes fewer big vehicles and doesn't even make V8 engines.

Via Union of Concerned Scientists
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