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What is the GREENEST car out there?



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    As a car company, all you can do is PROVIDE clean cars - you cannot FORCE people to buy them. Toyota PROVIDES more clean cars than anyone else

    Yes, same way they PROVIDE more dirty trucks like the many models with the old 4.7l.

    New Toyota Motto: we provide the most options rated 2 or lower out of 10.

  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204 710feat.html

    Least Green Machines
    Dan Lienert, 07.10.06, 12:30 AM ET

    Pickups and SUVs dominate our first-ever ranking of the market's least environmentally friendly vehicles.

    Bill Ford, chairman and chief executive of Ford Motor, frequently touts the company's environmental friendliness. Ford was the first American car company to offer a gas/electric hybrid vehicle that could run on electricity alone (the Escape Hybrid SUV), and 10.4 acres of plants grow on the roof of the automaker's Dearborn Truck Plant.

    But our first-ever ranking of the least environmentally friendly new cars isn't just dominated by pickups and SUVs; five of the seven cars on our list are made by Ford Motor (nyse: F - news - people ). And though domestic manufacturers are rolling out low-emission gas/electric hybrids, such as General Motors' (nyse: GM - news - people ) Saturn Vue Green Line SUV, all seven of the market's least green cars, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's most current data, are American--strong evidence that U.S. automakers are not as serious about clean vehicles as their foreign counterparts are.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Bill Ford recently backed out of his promise to make all those hybrids he hyped up a few years back, so this is no surprise.

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,850
    Bill Ford recently backed out of his promise to make all those hybrids

    He found he could get all the CAFE brownie points by making his big trucks and SUVs flex fuel. GM & Ford could just dump the small cars and concentrate on the big money vehicles by making them all FFVs. No penalties and more profit. They cannot be making any money with the Cobalt and Focus.
  • alp8alp8 Posts: 656
    any new opinions on this?
  • LOL talk about quoting out of context. The total quote" JD Power also reckons VW is the most environmentally friendly manufacturer in the USA, because it is the leading supplier of diesel cars over there. "

    Diesel environmentally friendly is an oxymoron.


  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    They're looking at it from a european angle, so naturally their bias is very pro-diesel.

    One of the euro mags held a diesel vs. hybrid comparison test and naturally they took a highway road trip to measure fuel economy. The diesel won (duh!). Such vacations represent, what, about 10-15 days out of the year when we're on vacation?

    Do the same thing on a routine commute, where most people are in the a city or at least in stop-n-go traffic. The hybrid would win easily, and that's where you tend to be about the 200+ days per year that you work.

  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    VW beat Honda by a slim margin of 2 points on a 1,000 point scale.

    And Honda has SIX cars in the Top 30.
    Toyota has FIVE cars in the Top 30.
    VW has only their THREE dirty diesels.

    I have e-mailed JD Power about this study to try and get their reasoning as to how they could come to such an unreasonable conclusion.

    VW cannot even SELL 2007 models of their TDI cars in the 5 clean-air states because they are so dirty.

    The "world's cleanest diesel car" cannot be sold in the USA clean air states either.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yep, to get one in California it has to be used and beyond a certain number of miles, because it's not clean enough to meet CARB standards.

    Even Mercedes' new BlueTec is not clean enough - they will only sell it in 45 states, and that is with urea-injection technology. :sick:

  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    "VW beat Honda by a slim margin of 2 points on a 1,000 point scale. "

    Yet, they beat them. :)

    I think the issue is, what is "green" exactly. Diesel does have some more particulate and NoX than petrol. On the other hand, it achieves better fuel economy, has more of a path to renewable fuel, will likely last longer, and have less of an environmental impact in manufacture and disposal.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I was surprised, I expected someone like Hyundai to win, because they don't make many big cars or trucks. Selling mostly Accents and Elantras means their average fuel use is probably very low.

    VW had the Phaeton and Touareg, which are basically guzzlers in the big picture.

  • alp8alp8 Posts: 656
    Reliability should play a role in the "green-ness" of a car

    not sure how'd you'd figure it in, but it should be figured in
  • I also think the number of number 2 pencils the car can carry and the degree of paint fade should also figure in. While we are at it especially from a "green" standpoint, the average power consumption of the car and the maximum decibels of the radio should laso be factored in. The Coeffiecinet of Drag causes environmental air disturbance and has been coorelated to the shift of the North Americna jet stream and the effect on increase methane gas and global warming. I also think we need to identify the worker ethics of the workers than make each car and to determine how environmentally sound the workers are and what extra conservation steps they take., especailly using recycled paper for company memos and bulletins. Which gets back to the number of environmentally friendly Number 2 pencils the car can carry. Number 3 are too hard and require significantly more polluting resources to creats.

    Come to think of it wouldn't the truly greennest car be one that has quit running and stays parked all the time?

    You have to be careful of this thread could easliy go off on irrelevant tangets and become utterly meaningless.


  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm sure any automaker could add their own criteria and assumptions to put themselves on top. Or in last.

    Example: Lexus are reliable, but they have a "replace to not repair" policy, so a lot of used parts are discareded. That creates a lot of waste.

    VW replaced so many ignition coils that they could not build them quickly enough and dealers ran out of stock. Where'd all the bad ones end up? I hope they got recycled.

  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    "Reliability should play a role in the "green-ness" of a car"

    I'd say "longevity".

    Some very reliable cars get worn out very quickly, and some unrelaible cars will run forever if you swap a part or two a year.
  • alp8alp8 Posts: 656
    no question this is a complicated area

    I know midcow was kidding, but there are very real complexities in this field (yes, it is a "field")

    the longevity issue is an interesting one, since you'll burn more fuel in your car over its life than was used to manufacture the car (including all the materials and components in the car). I assumed otherwise, but I was edumacated on that issue.

    in fact, longevity may be a bad thing - we ain't doing anyone any favors driving a 25-year old Bronco that gets 13 mpg, are we?

    maybe what you guys are saying is that we can't possibly know which car is greener - it's too complicated - so we shouldn't discuss it

    I can buy that
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    No--but it is a really complex problem.

    What if a car makes more pollution during its operation but lasts twice as long? Will there be less pollution than running a cleaner vehicle but having to build and dispose of another one?

    How do you compare a car that makes less pollution while driving versus a car that makes less pollution during its manufacture and disposal, if lifetimes are similar?

    How do you compare a car that uses less of a highly refined fuel, fuel that took more energy to produce, and caused more pollution during its manufacture?

    That's why i think it's pointless to attack VW. Depending on the coefficients, a VW TDI may or may not be "greener" than a similar hybrid.

    And i think we ought to agree that both a TDI and an insight are a step forward from a suburban.

    We care about the environment right? Not an attachment to one particular technology?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That ashes-to-ashes study tried to do just that, but they made a very bad assumption - that all cars last the same number of miles - I think it was 100k or so. That's far too little for most cars.

    I'd like to see that study done using the actual average life of a car. They can get the registration data from RL Polk.

    Then rate the cars on the amount of energy they use per year.

  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    Yeah--honestly, i'm quite skeptical of the ashes-to-ashes study.

    I don't see how some cars that are so similar can have such different numbers. For example, a crossfire rated 1/3 the energy cost of a SLK. However, a crossfire is just a reskinned SLK.

    I also have a hard time believing that an h2 can be so energy efficient compared to, say, an impala. Maybe there's some old machining tools for which the cost has been amortized for a long time, but there's just so much more steel/rubber/plastic being both produced and disposed of in the end. Never mind the fuel economy...
This discussion has been closed.