preloader icon

Apex Trader Funding (ATF) - News

The 10 greenest cars of the year: No. 1 is not an EV

Here are the 10 most environmentally-friendly cars, and the 10 meanest. See why an EV is on the list of most damaging models. Millions of Americans want to cut their carbon footprints, help the U.S. economy get off of foreign oil, and save money at the gas pump. They’d do well to buy an electric vehicle. But, if they want to make a difference, they should buy a plug-in hybrid (PHEV).

That’s the conclusion of a new study from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). A non-profit that aims to develop “transformative policies to reduce energy waste and combat climate change,” the council publishes an annual assessment of the real-world environmental impact of “every new model in the U.S. light-duty vehicle market.”

In 2024, the council says, the greenest car on the market is the Toyota Prius Prime. Toyota’s TM, +2.28% plug-in hybrid beat out every EV on the market thanks mainly to its light weight and smaller battery.

Learn more: What is EV, BEV, HEV, PHEV? Here’s your guide to types of electric cars

PHEVs are part-time EVs A plug-in hybrid is halfway between an EV and a gas-powered car. PHEVs recharge from a wall outlet and travel a certain distance on electricity – usually between 25 and 35 miles, depending on the model. They then use their gasoline engines to go further.

Buying one is like owning an EV for your commute and daily errands and a gas-powered car for road trips. But it only requires one car payment and one parking space.

Related: A hybrid just won ‘vehicle of the year.’ Here’s why the EV case has been hard to crack.

Study considers costs of building, driving The ACEEE’s analysis considers the impact of driving a car and the resources used in building it. The council rates “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.”

“While a gigantic electric truck weighing thousands of pounds might be better than a gas truck of the same size, both will be outmatched by a smaller, efficient gas vehicle,” the Washington Post explains. The massive, heavy batteries required to move such a large vehicle are resource-intensive. Mining and processing enough material to build them has real environmental and health costs.

“The more huge vehicles there are on the road, the harder it will be for the United States to meet its goal of zeroing emissions by 2050,” the Post explains.