Which electric car is best for the environment and your budget? – NBC Chicago – Advice Eating

As gas prices rise to a national average of $4.30 per gallon, consumers are beginning to seek green vehicles as an alternative to gas-powered vehicles.

While Tesla is best known for its high-end electric vehicles and technology, it’s another company to top the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) Green Score ranking.

“The green score is our attempt to estimate the environmental impact of vehicles on the market in a given year,” said Shruti Vaidyanathan, head of ACEEE’s transportation program.

Since the 1990s, ACEEE’s GreenerCars has verified the efficiency of vehicles and even different configurations of the same model. Green Scores are calculated based on official emissions and fuel economy tests and other specifications reported by automakers.

Green vehicles, ranging from electric vehicles to plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, come in many forms. There are also flexible fuel vehicles, fuel cell vehicles, natural gas vehicles and gasoline hybrids.

Which electric cars are best for the environment?

In an NBC analysis of ACEEE’s GreenerCars data for 2022, Polestar, a Swedish car brand associated with Volvo, had the highest average green score at 59, while Tesla came in second at 53.75.

Which car manufacturer is the most environmentally friendly?

Polestar had the highest average green score at 59, Tesla was second at 53.75. Bugatti took last place with 18.33. Sports car manufacturers tend to have the lowest Green Scores.

At the other end of the scale, sports cars from brands like Bugatti, Lamborghini and Ferrari have the lowest environmental scores on average, and Vaidyanathan said their tendency towards poor fuel efficiency is a major factor in their ranking.

“These vehicles are not designed for efficiency,” Vaidyanathan said. “They’re designed for performance more than anything else, so they have really low gas efficiencies — sometimes on the order of just five or six miles per gallon.”

Electric vehicles can both offset the cost of gas and reduce your carbon footprint by emitting fewer emissions per kilometer driven than the typical fossil-fuelled car, meaning fewer chemicals are released into the atmosphere.

Many factors play a role in the question of which green vehicle is the most environmentally friendly. Although eco-friendly vehicles aim to address many climate-related issues, there are still many criticisms regarding the amount of pollutants released into the air, as well as battery chemistry needed for eco-friendly vehicles that, if not recycled or be produced efficiently, seep into the soil can contaminate the environment.

Some automakers have effectively addressed such concerns, while others are few and far behind. And lately, with the tight supply and high demand for eco-friendly vehicles, prices are also starting to rise rapidly.

However, the best-selling car brands do not exactly correspond to higher environmental scores. Toyota topped US sales in 2021 with almost 2 million cars sold, but the brand averaged a green score of 46.47.

Of the top 5 car sellers, only Honda makes the top 5 in terms of environmental scores with an average of 51.45 and 1.3 million US cars sold. The data doesn’t include sales data for Polestar, but its owner Volvo didn’t fall into the top 20 for sales.

Do consumers buy cars from eco-friendly brands?

While electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular around the world. The US is still a little behind, with EVs accounting for 4% of new vehicle sales nationwide. Only Honda makes the top five in both car sales and average green score.

Average green score compared to car sales in 2021

While most people may not buy cars from the greenest car brands, electric vehicles have grown in popularity in recent years.

About 6.5 million electric vehicles were sold worldwide last year, accounting for about 9% of auto sales, according to CNBC. Of those sales, the US accounted for 535,000, accounting for 4% of new cars sold nationwide. Much of it comes from Tesla.

As financial incentives and infrastructure for electric vehicles improve, experts can say we will see more green cars on the roads.

Already in California, a state with some of the best EV incentives in the country, there are over 400,000 registered EVs, according to the US Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center.

The states with more incentives have the most electric vehicles

Over 400,000 EVs are registered in California alone – a state with some of the best financial incentives and one of the best EV infrastructures in the country. Car buyers in other states like Florida, Texas, and Washington also account for a large portion of the country’s EVs.

Registrations of electric vehicles per 100,000 inhabitants

In addition to the incentives, Vaidyanathan says California has made electric vehicles the core of its approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The state has created several policies to support green vehicles, such as: B. Unique tailpipe emission standards and zero-emission vehicle targets.

But there are still problems when it comes to accessing the benefits of green cars. Vaidyanathan says that an eco-friendly transportation policy must be made fair to help the people who need it most.

Communities of color, for example, tend to live closer to major thoroughfares and ports, but also have less access to low-carbon transportation.

“Our transportation system has disproportionately negatively impacted low-income and communities of color,” she said. “They bear a disproportionate burden of the pollution that comes from the transport sector.”

State-level policies can do a lot to correct these inequalities by introducing incentives to make EVs a more affordable and viable choice for all.

States like New York and California have good financial incentives for electric vehicle owners like the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, which provides up to $2,000 to buy or lease battery electric vehicles and $1,000 to buy or lease Plug -in hybrid electric vehicles.

Due to the many reservations about reducing your carbon footprint with eco-friendly vehicles, the government wants to help achieve this by offering various incentives such as inhabited.

Other non-financial incentives available to EV owners include access to exclusive lanes for busy vehicles on highways and priority parking in certain cities.

Which eco-friendly vehicle is the cheapest?

When thinking of electric vehicles, some might think of expensive Tesla cars, but Vaidyanathan says the high price has more to do with the company’s reputation as a luxury brand.

While Tesla accounts for the majority of electric vehicle sales and offers discounts in certain states, there are other cheaper cars for consumers to choose from, such as the Nissan Leaf, Hyundai Kona Electric, and Chevrolet Bolt EV/EUV.

“These vehicles are not advertised as luxury vehicles,” she said. “They’re meant to be vehicles that are alternatives for people who drive petrol versions of these vehicles and want to invest in a greener car.”

Electric vehicle owners can also make big savings by avoiding the pump and the rise in gas prices.

If electricity costs $0.13 per kilowatt-hour, charging an electric vehicle with a range of 200 miles from a fully discharged battery costs about $9 to reach a full charge, according to the US Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center .

Here is a list of the most affordable and eco-friendly green vehicles rated by Edmunds.

electric cars

  • 2022 Nissan Leaf – starting price $27,400, range 149 miles
  • 2022 Mini Cooper SE – starting price $29,900, range 114 miles
  • 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV – starting price $31,000, range 259 miles
  • 2022 Mazda MX-30 – starting price $33,470, range 100 miles
  • 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric – starting price $34,000, range 258 miles
  • 2022 Kia EV6 – starting price $40,900, range of 232 miles
  • 2022 Volkswagen ID.4 – starting price $41,995, range 280 miles

luxury electric cars

  • 2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E – starting price $42,895, range 247 miles
  • 2022 Polestar 2 – starting price $45,900, range 270 miles
  • 2022 Tesla Model 3 – starting price $46,990, range 272 miles

plug-in hybrids

  • 2022 Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid – starting price $26,800, range 29 miles, mpg 53
  • 2022 Toyota Prius Prime – starting price $28,220, range 25 miles, mpg of 54
  • 2022 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid – starting price $29,590, range 26 miles, mpg of 46
  • 2022 Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid – starting price $33,075, range 37 miles, mpg 40
  • 2022 Hyundai Tucson Plug-In Hybrid – starting price $34,900, range 33 miles, mpg of 35

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