As the concern over global warming and its connection to vehicle emissions has increased over the past few years, alternative fuel vehicles and other green automobiles are now becoming more popular. Cars have been singled out as one of the major contributors to air pollution, so to minimize the effects that cars have on the environment different car manufacturers have made varying versions of their own green autos. This year the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) awarded Honda Motor Co. [NYSE: HMC] as the “Greenest Automaker” for the fifth consecutive year for its effort to reduce carbon emissions.
Toyota and Hyundai were tied at second place. Honda beat them by only one point. Toyota almost made it to the top this year but lacked effort in reducing carbon emissions. Hyundai’s fleet showed considerable improvements in fuel efficiency which put it in a contender spot. In order to determine the rankings, the top eight car manufacturers’ average per-mile smog pollution and global warming emissions of its vehicle fleet were studied. The top eight car manufacturers are Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, Toyota, and Volkswagen.
Should Honda want to maintain its lead next year and in the following years to come, they will need to focus more on plug-ins and hybrids. The other car manufacturers should look towards increasing efforts towards making their entire fleet greener. Chrysler still ranks as the most polluting automaker for the fourth time among the eight automakers. Ford and General Motors were close to ranking last too.
Roughly one third of U.S. carbon emissions come from the transportation sector. One sixth of the smog-forming gases that are emitted in the United States also come from passenger vehicles, which is why the top eight automakers play such a key role in helping keep our environment clean. The engineering decisions and technology choices of each automaker are important factors in fighting global warming.
Ford has been making improvements with its fleet, making efforts to make their vehicles greener and because of this we may see an improvement in their ranking in the future. Chevrolet has launched the Chevrolet Volt and Cruze Eco that may also help General Motors’ standing. GM needs to make drastic improvements in their fleet as their average smog emissions even for their hybrids were worse than the combined average of the eight manufacturers. All automotive manufacturers should implement more environment friendly vehicles to their fleet in order to have better results.
As concerned citizens, we can also play our part by choosing a vehicle that has the lowest global warming and smog-forming emissions. With more green automakers around, we may after all see hope for our environment and have a better future ahead of us.