Sales of electric cars, including plug-in and hybrid cars, broke all kinds of records in 2021 – globally and domestically. The trend has continued in 2022, with electric vehicles outpacing other segments. Interestingly, however, only four of the 12 greenest cars are full electric vehicles. The rest are either plug-in hybrids or gasoline hybrids, based on a ranking by GreenerCars.com.
To find the 12 most eco-friendly cars in America, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed GreenerCars ratings of 2022 model year cars. Greenercars.org is part of the nonprofit research organization American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. To avoid repetition, only the highest-scored model for each car is included. All data comes from greenercars.org except for combined MPG, which comes from the Environmental Protection Agency’s fueleconomy.gov site.
There has been a shift toward larger and heavier EVs that are less environmentally friendly, according to this year’s GreenerCars ratings. Of the eight hybrid vehicles on the list, five are gasoline hybrids. This is an increase from the previous year. Gasoline hybrids combine a small gasoline engine with an electric motor that uses energy stored in batteries. The batteries capture energy from regenerative braking and the combustion engine to improve the vehicle’s overall efficiency. (Find out if any are among the cars that have been completely redesigned for 2023.)
The four EV cars on the list are made by MINI, Nissan, Mazda, and Tesla Motors. Three of the previous top EVs – Hyundai Ioniq electric, BMW i3s, and Kia Soul electric – are no longer sold in the United States, according to GreenCars.com.
The automobile Industry continues to deal with cars and parts shortages from the disruption or the supply chain caused by the pandemic. The Biden administration announced a goal for EVs to capture 50% of new sales by 2030. Globally, EV sales accounted for 8.3% of all sales in 2021. (Also see, the 15 cars that hold value the longest.)