This report from the Union of Concerned Scientists evaluates the environmental performance of the major automakers in the United State. The study puts companies’ green-marketing state¬ments to the test by using government data to measure the environmental performance of each of the eight best-selling (“Top Eight”) automakers’ product offerings. Focusing on model year 2008 (MY2008)—the latest year for which final data are available — the overall ranking of each manufacturer is determined by averaging its global warming score with its smog score, thus creating a combined score that weights global warming emissions and smog-forming emissions equally at 50%. In addition to gauging manufacturers’ overall perfor¬mance, this study also assesses their performance within a range of vehicle classes. And it evaluates the effectiveness of specific automotive technologies currently being mar¬keted for their green merits. Finally, we offer suggestions as to how each manufacturer can make authentic environ¬mental improvements in its fleet
This year, Honda just holds on to its title of green¬est automaker. Honda finished with an overall score of 86, reflecting a fleet 14% 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). The analysis is based on model year 2008 data, the latest available.
The three Detroit automakers have consistently placed at the bottom of UCS’s Automaker Rankings analyses. Of the three companies, Ford has generally been the best, though this year only one point separates it from General Motors. General Motors’ next to last place ranking was due to its continued focus on inefficient vehicles with lacklustre smog performance. Surprisingly, average smog emissions of GM’s hybrids were worse than the combined average of all eight manufacturers’ model year 2008 vehicles—hybrid and nonhybrid
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