Press Release

Electric Vehicles Top 2024 GreenerCars Rankings as Prices Drop

February 28, 2024

Electric vehicles continue to lead the way in the annual American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) GreenerCars ratings of the most environmentally friendly cars. Of the six best-scoring 2024 cars, all are electric, with four fully electric vehicles and two plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) models. The Toyota Prius Prime was the top scorer in the 2024 GreenerCars rankings, followed by the Lexus RZ 300e, Mini Cooper SE, Nissan Leaf, Toyota bZ4X, and Toyota RAV4 Prime. Rounding out the top 12 on the Greenest List are three EVs and three gasoline hybrid cars from Hyundai, Toyota, and Kia.

Just over half the cars on the 2024 Greenest List start at under $35,000, including four EVs and three gas hybrids. This comes as average prices across all EVs dropped by 18% in 2023, driven by increased competition from traditional automakers, improvements in inventory and supply chains, and lower costs for lithium-ion batteries. As prices fell, new EV sales last year increased 46%, reaching 1.2 million.

“It’s important for automakers to keep expanding affordable EV options rapidly so that the benefits of EVs are available to drivers across a wider spectrum of incomes as we transition away from cars that burn gasoline. For drivers whose needs are not met by today’s charging infrastructure, many efficient and affordable hybrid options are available,” said Peter Huether, ACEEE’s senior transportation research associate and lead researcher for the GreenerCars rankings.

The Greenest List highlights the 12 highest-scoring models this year, the Greener Choices List includes a variety of high-scoring conventional vehicles, and the Meanest List identifies the 12 worst-performing mass-market models. The average fuel cost of a vehicle on the Greenest List is a fifth of the average fuel cost of a vehicle on the Meanest List, showing that greener options can also be more affordable. 

Greenest List

The electric vehicles on the Greenest List had the lowest fueling costs because of their higher efficiency.

To calculate GreenerCars scores, ACEEE evaluates each model year 2024 car on its cost to human health from air pollution associated with vehicle manufacturing and disposal, the production and distribution of fuel or electricity, and vehicle tailpipe emissions. On that basis, ACEEE assigns a Green Score to more than 1,200 model year 2024 cars, including cars fueled solely by gasoline or diesel, gas-fueled hybrids with electric motors, plug-in hybrids powered by both gas and electricity from the grid, and all-electric vehicles. 

Greener Choices

The 2024 Greener Choices List includes model year 2024 cars that are available nationwide with among the lowest environmental impacts in each vehicle class but that didn’t make the Greenest List. The Greener Choices List does not include EVs (including PHEVs) because some drivers do not have adequate access to EV charging.

Meanest List

The Meanest List of the worst-performing mass market automobiles consists of primarily large, inefficient gas guzzlers, with seven SUVs, three trucks, one sports car, and one sedan. The Mercedes-Benz G63 SUV was the worst-performing vehicle of the more than 1,200 models assessed by GreenerCars and has an annual fuel cost over $4,000.

The Meanest List includes an EV for the first time. The 9,000-pound electric GMC Hummer ranks #9 on the Meanest List. GM markets the “supertruck” as “extreme” and “loaded with extras.” Though EVs have lower emissions than similarly sized gasoline models, the Hummer demonstrates that size and efficiency, not just fuel source, are important factors in a car’s environmental impact. 

Green Scores for model year 2024 vehicles are available on ACEEE’s GreenerCars interactive database, along with each configuration’s fuel economy, health-related pollution impacts, and greenhouse gas emissions. GreenerCars also details the scoring methodology and provides a database of every vehicle scored since model year 2000. GreenerCars’ Market Trends analysis outlines the state of the auto market in 2023.

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