Tesla Roadster Tops Green Car Ranking

The field of green-hued vehicles is beginning to get a little crowded, giving Greenopia’s new 2011 model guide heightened relevancy. But one thing hasn’t changed: The Tesla Roadster, for the second straight year, is the guide’s greenest car.

That’s the word from a Greenopia press release, which noted that “the car companies who performed the best overall in the study were Tesla, smart, Mini, Honda, Volkswagen, Kia, and Toyota. Honda was especially notable with 3 of its vehicles receiving the coveted 4-leaf rating from Greenopia, being the only automaker with more than 1 vehicle receiving a 4-leaf score.”

Tesla Roadster, Greentopia top-ranked car

image via Tesla Motors

Greenopia said one change in its ratings system this year was the addition of performance as a criterion, called “eco-performance” by the service. “Certain performance automakers do not get enough credit for how efficient their vehicles are,” Doug Mazeffa,  Greenopia’s research director, said in a statement. “While sportier cars typically have dismal fuel economies, some are shockingly efficient.”

Other criteria for the ratings: fuel efficiency, emissions, SmartWay certification from the Environmental Protection Agency, curb weight, engine type and fuel type.

Looking for green gadget gift ideas for this holiday season? We have you covered with our annual Green Gadgets Holiday Gift Guide – check it out now!

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.