Peter Gorrie at asks the question….but concludes it is impossible to decide. Even when choosing between cars run on fossil fuels and those run on electricity.

To make this decision one has to evaluate the quantity of carbon that went into manufacturing the vehicle, the source of the electricity in the location where you are recharging your battery (carbon emitting fossil fuels like coal or natural gas versus clean nuclear, hydro, biofuels,wind and solar), the amount of carbon emitted by the car, and the miles per fuel measurement.

Taking all of these factors into consideration makes this a lot more difficult calculation than one would have thought.  A car can be a mileage miser but use up a lot of carbon-based resources in the manufacturing process.  And it turns out that low miles per fuel measurement does not equate to low carbon emissions.

Even comparing internal combustion engines is not a simple task.

Which is greener? Car A; an econobox with basic internal-combustion components, lacklustre acceleration and speed, but annual gasoline consumption of only 1,500 litres and 2,500 kilograms of emissions. Or Car B; a bigger, more powerful sedan with features such as direct injection and variable valve timing that make it far more efficient than Car A but which still records higher consumption and emissions.

Gorrie’s overall assessment?  “In short, while most cars are getting greener, there’s too much diversity and complexity to declare a ‘greenest.'”

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1 Comment on How Do We Choose The Greenest Car?

  1. KM says:

    I love this car so much! I think this is an awesome idea! Great job!