Twelve Greenest Cars Named

by : Lauren Woods

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has recently named the twelve cleanest cars in the US today. The agency named the best fuel efficient cars in the market today to aid consumers who are in the market for a car that will give them great fuel economy and would be able to take a part in the drive to protect the environment.

For ten years, the council has compiled the twelve greenest cars for every model year. And for only the second time in the history of the council, every single car included in this year's list comes from Asian car makers. The list also featured four new models which show the increasing number of green cars being produced. The reason mainly is the rising prices of gasoline and the increasing environmental awareness in the public.

Leading the list is the Honda Civic GX which runs on compressed natural gas. The GX looks just like the ordinary Civic model but its fuel efficiency is much better. The car is Honda's answer to the demand for cleaner cars and with this car, they have set a new standard in the clean car segment. While hybrid electric cars are the most popular cars in terms of fuel efficiency, the Honda Civic GX proves that there is a better alternative to using electric motors to drive a car. The use of compressed natural gas can still be enhanced with aftermarket parts like a component that will cool the air going into the combustion chamber. The Honda Civic GX is only rated at 100 horsepower and 98 lb-ft of torque but the continuously variable transmission employed by the GX efficiently transfers all those power to the wheels.

Following the Honda Civic GX in the list is the popular Toyota Prius. This Toyota hybrid has become an instant hit when it was introduced to the US market. The soaring gas prices prompted a huge number of American motorists to go for a car such as this. The Prius uses an electric motor to ease the load carried by its engine. This translates to better fuel economy since during idling and low-sped driving, the electric motor takes over the operation of the car.

The third car in the list is another hybrid and another car from Honda. The Honda Civic Hybrids also makes it as one of the cleanest cars in production today. The inclusion of the second Honda model in the top three shows and reflects the dedication of Honda in developing and producing cars that are environmentally friendly. The top three cars are rated as PZEV or Partially Zero-Emission Vehicles.

Another Asian car manufacturer that made it to the list of the top twelve cleanest cars is Nissan. Their Nissan Altima Hybrid is the fourth cleanest car in production today. The Altima Hybrid is also rated as a partially zero-emissions vehicle.

The fifth car on the green list is another Toyota model which is the Toyota Yaris. The Yaris is rated as an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle II. Two other Toyotas follow the Yaris in the list. These are the Toyota Corolla and the Toyota Camry Hybrid. Toyota also has been making progress in the production of clean vehicles which is evident in the entry of four of their models in the top twelve green cars.

The Honda Fit which recently won Best of The Year Award at the 2007 Chicago Auto Show also appeared as the eighth cleanest car. Kia, another Asian brand has also a car in the top twelve list, this being the Kia Rio/Rio 5. Other cars which made the list are the Hyundai Accent and the Elantra. The conventional Honda Civic is the twelfth cleanest car.