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Apr 132011

Nissan Leaf

From Green Right Now Reports

Kelley Blue Book has named the Top 10 Green Cars of 2011. KBB’s editors said they were struck by the much wider range of vehicles they had to choose from this year when compared to years past. These days not only are there more hybrids than ever before, there also are more high-efficiency gasoline-powered vehicles on the road.

The new list arrives as gas prices are rising ahead of Earth Day 2011. KBB also said new survey shows that gas prices are increasingly influencing car shoppers’ vehicle purchase considerations. The number of survey respondents reporting that gas prices have changed their mind about the vehicles they are considering increased 5 percentage points from 30 percent in February 2011 to 35 percent in March 2011. Further, the amount of respondents who identified better fuel economy as the primary reason they are looking to purchase a new vehicle also has been on the rise over the past three months, increasing from 6 percent in January 2011 to 15 percent in March 2011.

In addition, 85 percent of car shoppers in March 2011 indicated that they feel gas prices will be higher in the next 30 days, up 11 percentage points from February 2011. On average, consumers taking the March 2011 survey said that a vehicle would need to get at least 26.2 highway miles-per-gallon in order for them to consider it for their next vehicle purchase.

KBB said that to be considered for the Top 10 Green Cars of 2011 list, each vehicle was required to offer fuel economy and CO2 emissions superior to the bulk of vehicles in its class, and at the same time provide all the safety, creature comforts and driving enjoyment that would make it pleasant to own.

With the 2011 model year, the auto industry also has begun the first broad push for electrically powered vehicles. Nissan created a stir with its all-electric Leaf, plunging into territory that General Motors eventually found untenable more than a decade ago. Meanwhile, GM has learned from its past EV1 experience and launched the Chevrolet Volt, an electric car that carries with it a gasoline engine, which actually powers the vehicle only on the rarest occasions. Instead, that task is left to the electric motor-generator, making the Volt feel like a pure electric.

Since both Leaf and Volt are plug-ins, they can relieve drivers of the need to frequent gasoline stations. Due to its all-electric-all-the-time nature the Leaf is emission-free, while the Volt’s emission performance depends a great deal on how – and how long – it is driven.

Here is the list of top green cars for 2011:

  1. 2011 Nissan Leaf | 99 mpg equivalent
  2. 2011 Chevy Volt | 93 mpg equivalent
  3. 2011 Toyota Prius | 50 mpg (51 city, 48 highway)
  4. 2011 Lexus CT 200h | 42 mpg (43 city, 40 highway)
  5. 2011 Honda Insight | 41 mpg (40 city/43 highway)
  6. 2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid | 39 mpg (41 city/36 highway)
  7. 2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI | 34 mpg (30 city/42 highway)
  8. 2011 Hyundai Elantra | 33 mpg (29 city, 40 highway)
  9. 2012 Fiat 500 | 33 mpg (30 city/38 highway)
  10. 2012 Ford Focus | 31 mpg (28 city/38 highway)