Hyundai -Kia is the greenest automaker, according to the 2014 environmental rankings by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), though the UCS noted that all eight of the best-selling automakers showed improvements in the rankings.
“I’m pleased to say that Troup County is home to an assembly plant for the most environmentally friendly automaker,” said Mayor Jim Thornton about Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia in West Point.
The ranking is based on the measure of pollution emissions of each automaker’s fleet.
Compared to the national average, Hyundai Kia emits about 15 percent less global warming pollution and 13 percent less smog-forming pollution, according to UCS data; Honda, Toyota, then Nissan and Volkswagen follow right behind as the top eco-friendly automakers.
Chrysler had the highest average smog-forming and global warming emissions, followed by General Motors and Ford.
Ford is improving the fastest, UCS noted, by selling more hybrids and by using turbochargers to power smaller, more efficient engines.
Overall, however, UCS reports that the average new vehicle is emitting 20 percent less global warming pollution and nearly 87 percent less smog-forming tailpipe emissions since 1998 and they credit strong federal and state emissions standards for the progress.
Forward-looking, fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards will require all automakers to continue investing in fuel-saving technologies to help reduce smog, protect the climate and save drivers money at the pump.