The Most Eco-Friendly Cars in 2022 to buy now

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As people become more concerned about the environmental impact of burning fossil fuels, many are looking for Eco-Friendly Cars to reduce their carbon footprint in a variety of ways.

The Most Eco-Friendly Cars in 2022 - Freedom Tech

So, what are your most eco-friendly options in 2022 if you want to replace your old vehicle with something greener?

What Kinds of Eco-Friendly Vehicles Exist?

There are several types of environmentally friendly vehicles available today.

According to the US Department of Energy, among these are:

All-electric or battery-electric vehicles (EVs or BEVs): Vehicles that run solely on batteries charged by the grid or other off-board power sources. They emit no greenhouse gases.

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) combine a battery-powered electric motor that, like BEVs, can be recharged with a gasoline engine. They can run entirely on electricity but can switch to a gas engine if necessary.

Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) are propelled by an internal combustion engine and one or more electric motors that draw power from a battery. The combustion engine is powered by gasoline, and the battery is charged through regenerative braking rather than by plugging in.

Flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs) have an internal combustion engine and can run on gasoline or any blend of gasoline and ethanol up to 83 percent. This blended fuel, known as E85, is available at over 4,000 stations nationwide.

FCEVs (fuel cell electric vehicles): These vehicles run on pure hydrogen gas stored in a tank. The fuel cell converts the gas to electricity, producing no harmful tailpipe emissions—only water vapor and warm air. However, the infrastructure to fuel these vehicles is still in its infancy.

Natural gas vehicles (NGVs): These are vehicles that run on compressed or liquified natural gas. There are over 175,000 of them in the United States. Some are only powered by natural gas, whereas others may have two separate fueling systems that allow them to run on gasoline as well. When compared to conventional gasoline or diesel-powered vehicles, they produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

What Will Be the Most Environmentally Friendly Cars in 2022?

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) released its 25th annual GreenerCars. Ranking earlier this year, which lists the most eco-friendly cars in the United States for model year 2022.

Each vehicle receives a Green Score based on an environmental damage index that considers fuel economy and emissions, as well as pollution associated with vehicle manufacturing and disposal, fuel or electricity production and distribution, and vehicle tailpipes.

According to the ACEEE, the number of hybrid vehicles in the top spots increased in 2022, owing in part to a shift toward larger and heavier EVs that are less environmentally friendly.

Furthermore, three of the previous top EVs—the Hyundai Ioniq electric, the BMW i3s, and the Kia Soul electric—are no longer available in the United States.

The following vehicles are ranked first in the ACEEE GreenerCars rankings for 2022:

  1. Toyota Prius Prime (PHEV)
  2. Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV)
  3. Mini Cooper SE Hardtop 2 Door (EV)
  4. Nissan Leaf (EV)
  5. Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV)
  6. Hyundai Elantra Hybrid Blue (HEV/Gasoline Hybrid)
  7. Mazda Mx-30 (EV)
  8. Toyota Corolla Hybrid (HEV/Gasoline Hybrid)
  9. Honda Insight (HEV/Gasoline Hybrid)
  10. Toyota Camry Hybrid LE (HEV/Gasoline Hybrid)

“The top three vehicles on our 2022 greenest list have the lowest life-cycle environmental impact due to the exceptional fuel-efficiency of the two plug-in hybrids and the Mini Cooper SE Hardtop 2 Door EV having the lowest embedded emissions of any EV we scored,” says a spokesperson for the company Peter Huether, ACEEE senior transportation research analyst.

“The Prius Prime has the highest fuel efficiency of any plug-in hybrid, followed by the Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid. The Prius Prime has the lowest embedded emissions of any plug-in hybrid, followed by the Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid. Both of these plug-in hybrids have small battery packs and are overall very light vehicles. The Mini Cooper SE Hardtop 2 Door EV has the lightest battery and overall is the lightest EV, which contributes significantly to its low embedded emissions.”

According to Huether, embedded emissions, often from battery packs, can account for a significant portion of the environmental impact of EVs due to the low emissions from the electricity they run on. Mining, mineral processing, and vehicle production all contribute to embedded emissions.

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