WASHINGTON, DC — (WWJ) There’s been a change at the top when it comes to green car companies.
“Hyundai-Kia has unseated Honda to become the 2014 greenest automaker,” said Dr. David Cook, a researcher at the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Honda has been a perennial leader since the Union of Concerned Scientists started ranking car makers on their environmental friendliness back in 1998.
Cook says all automakers have been making their vehicles greener, in response to public pressure and the coming increase in federal fuel economy standards. However Honda slipped this year, as the new version of the Accord mid-size car is not as green as its predecessor. Hyundai, meanwhile, has improved most of the vehicles in its lineup.
“The automaker came out on top, in first place, thanks to a concerted effort to improve the green performance of its fleet.”
This comes after Hyundai had to change posted fuel economy figures that drivers couldn’t meet in real world driving. The ranking used the new numbers, that more accurate reflect the type of fuel economy a buyer could be expected to get.
Honda remains in second place. Third place is a three-way tie between Toyota, Volkswagen and Nissan.
“If Hyundai-Kia is now the greenest automaker, Nissan could be called the most improved automaker,” said Cook.
Much of that improvement, Cook says, is from increased sales of the Nissan Leaf Electric Vehicle.
The three domestic carmakers still finished well below the import brands. But, Cook says they are seeing a lot of improvement, with more expected, as the companies work to meet newer, tougher fuel economy rules.
“Though currently lagging the national average, there are signs that America’s automakers are positioning themselves to significantly improve their environmental performance.
Ford remains tops among the domestic three, says Cook, with Chrysler at the bottom.
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