American Cars Conspicuously Absent from List of 2004’s Greenest Vehicles

An annual ranking of the year’s “greenest” and “meanest” automobiles released today found America’s Big Three auto manufacturers absent from the former list — and well-represented on the latter. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, widely considered a top source for info on eco-friendly passenger vehicles, gave the 2004 Honda Civic GX sedan (powered by compressed natural gas) its highest score, followed by gas-electric hybrids from Honda and Toyota. Volkswagen’s diesel-powered Touareg SUV got pegged with the group’s “meanest” designation. “The absence of the Big Three [from the "greenest" list] is disappointing,” said Therese Langer, ACEEE’s transportation program director, “but the fact is that the greenest vehicles today excel in both fuel economy and tailpipe emissions, and Detroit has yet to do that.”