The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy named two pickup trucks, the Chevy Colorado diesel and the Ford F-150 to its “greener choices” list this year but placed one popular truck, the Toyota Tundra in its “meanest” rankings for poor fuel efficiency.
The vehicles making both the greenest and meanest ratings were ranked by the ACEEE on a variety of factors, including fuel economy, pollution created from the manufacturing process and tailpipe emissions.
The Chevy Colorado, a mid-size truck, ranked 10th among the “greener choices” listings with a green score of 42. The full-size Ford F-150 pickup finished 12th with a score of 39 on the same list.
Two electric cars – Hyundai’s Ioniq Electric and the BMW i3 – topped the separate “greenest” list. No trucks made the ACEEE’s “greenest” list, which is comprised of electric and hybrid vehicles.
“For the second year in a row, plug-in electric vehicles — all-electrics and plug-in hybrids — dominate the Greenest list, proving that these vehicles are really coming into their own,” said Eric Junga, transportation research analyst at ACEEE.
But even all-electrics are associated with significant emissions, Junga said, arising from vehicle production and the electricity used for charging.
“It’s notable that conventional hybrids continue to be environmentally competitive with the plug-ins, taking four of the Greenest slots,” he said.
While it fell to the meanest list, Toyota’s Tundra was considered the best of the worst, finishing the highest in the lowest category with a score of 27. The worst ranked vehicle was the Mercedes-Benz AMG G65 with a green score of 21.
The heavier weight of trucks is a factor in why pickups tend not to appear at the top of the organization’s greenest or greener choices lists.
“We use weight as a proxy to estimate manufacturers’ emissions,” Shruti Vaidyanathan, an ACEEE analyst, told Trucks.com.
Two SUVs, the Honda CR-V and the Nissan Rogue Hybrid finished 8th and 9th on the greener choices list, with green scores of 50 and 49, respectively.
“We consider any vehicle that scores above a 40 to be good in the grand scheme of things,” Vaidyanathan said. “Our greener choices list is our way of giving kudos to these vehicles, which are really good alternatives for people looking for great vehicles.”