WASHINGTON, DC, January 29, 2014 (ENS) – The nonprofit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) Tuesday released its 17th annual environmental ratings for vehicles at: greenercars.org.

This year, the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive tops the “Greenest” list with a highest-ever score of 59 out of 100, just in time for its U.S. rollout.

Smart ForTwo

Smart ForTwo EV (Photo courtesy Penske Automotive SoCal, San Diego, California)

With a range of 76 miles in city driving, 59 miles on the highway and 68 combined, the Smart ForTwo Electric gets a miles per gallon equivalent rating of 122 mpge in the city and 93 on the highway.

Following in the green slipstream are the Toyota Prius C with a “Greenest” list score of 57, and the Nissan Leaf with a score of 55 to claim slots #2 and #3.

Toyota’s family of Priuses performs well again this year, with the regular Prius and the Prius plug-in hybrid claiming spots #4 and #7 on the list.

Other top scorers for 2014 include the Honda Civic Hybrid (#5), Lexus CT 200H (#6), Honda Insight (#10), and the Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid (#12).

Making its return to the “Greenest” list after an absence last year is the Honda Civic Natural Gas vehicle (#9).

“From the rise in the number of efficient vehicles in car-sharing and car rental fleets to the myriad advanced technology vehicle choices available to consumers, the leading edge of the U.S. auto market is evolving rapidly,” said ACEEE Executive Director Steve Nadel.

New to the list this year is the Mitsubishi Mirage, Mitsubishi’s new subcompact offering for the American market. With a Green Score of 55, the gasoline vehicle takes the 8th spot on the ACEEE list.

The only other non-hybrid gasoline model to make the list this year is the gasoline-powered Smart ForTwo which placed at #11.

U.S. automakers earned just four of the 12 “Greener Choices” spots.

“We’ve had such an influx of hybrid and electric vehicles in recent years that the race to earn a spot on the “Greenest” list is more competitive than ever, particularly for conventional vehicles. It’s encouraging to see automakers investing heavily in eco-savvy vehicles on the whole,” said ACEEE lead vehicle analyst Shruti Vaidyanathan.

In its annual rankings, the ACEEE identifies top widely-available models in each vehicle class. This “Greener Choices” list includes trucks and SUVs such as the Buick Encore, Nissan Rogue, and the Ram 1500 HFE. The Chevrolet Spark and Nissan Juke top their individual car classes.

The ACEEE says the list shows that consumers can make “greener choices whatever their vehicle needs may be.”

Greenercars.org provides the facts drivers need to assess the eco-performance of any 2014 model. The site assigns each vehicle a “Green Score,” a unique measure that incorporates lifecycle greenhouse gas and criteria pollutant emissions.

Updates to this year’s Green Score include in-use emissions of methane and nitrous oxides, evaporative emissions estimates, and gasoline, diesel, and natural gas “upstream” emissions.

The “Meanest” list this year is comprised of heavier light-duty vehicles and European sports cars that are the least friendly to the environment.

The dirtiest vehicle for 2014, with a Green Score of just 18, is the Dodge Class 2B Ram 2500 pickup. Ram 2500 trucks run on a 5.7-liter V8 that generates 383 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque.

The Class 2B Ram 2500 is just slightly dirtier than the Bugatti Veyron and the Ford E-150 FFV Wagon with scores of 19 and 21 respectively.

Special use vans above 8,500 lbs are given a Green Score but are not included on the “Meanest” list.

Vehicles not intended to achieve significant sales volumes are not eligible for spots on the “Greenest” list.

In addition to each year’s “Greenest,” “Meanest,” “Greener Choices,” and best-in-class lists, the greenercars.org website features informational write-ups on model year 2014 highlights, a consumer primer on vehicles and the environment, and advice on how to buy green when shopping for a new car or truck.

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