After Volkswagen scandal, buying ‘green’ cars gets complicated – MarketWatch
If you’re in the market for a new car, there is a specification you should have high on your list: Greenhouse gas emissions.
After Volkswagen was discovered to have cheated the Environmental Protection Agency’s emissions tests with a “defeat device” on about 11 million diesel vehicles, greater attention has been placed on pollutants cars on the road are emitting. The VW
cars were found to have been emitting 40 times the EPA standard for nitrous oxide, a gas that can cause public health issues like asthma and respiratory illness.
While auto makers continue to produce more alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles, gasoline- and diesel-powered cars still prove popular among buyers. While these cars have been improving overall fuel efficiency, it is still important to keep an eye on how much greenhouse gas they emit per gallon of gas burned for the benefit of the environment and public health.
As 2016 model year vehicles continue to fill dealer lots, here are the vehicles—in both the alternative fuel/hybrid and gasoline categories—with the lowest emissions in six EPA-classified segments, according to the agency’s tests. The EPA considers carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases—man-made gases that remain in the atmosphere—as the primary greenhouse gases it tests for.
Cars are ranked on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the most environmentally friendly, for air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Testing data is as of July 2015.
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