Special Report

The Most Eco-Friendly Cars on the Market

This fall, Ford will begin selling the 2022 Maverick, the first pickup truck with a gas-electric hybrid powertrain. The automaker hopes the truck will achieve an Environmental Protection Agency’s rating of 40 miles per gallon, or 500 miles on a full tank of gasoline. That would be a big step considering that the two-wheel-drive 2021 Chevrolet Silverado, the industry leader, has a combined city/highway mileage of only 27 mpg.

 In order to increase overall average fuel economy in the U.S., American automakers must continue to make pickup trucks more fuel efficient, because Americans absolutely love pickups. The best-selling passenger vehicles in the country, besides the Silverado, are the Ford F-Series and the Dodge Ram. (These are the best-selling cars of the last year.) 

Since 2004, average mpg for vehicles on American roads has risen 29% thanks to technological innovation and broader deployment of hybrid technology. (Electric cars still make up only a sliver of the market, but as they become more popular, they will play a larger role in increasing overall fuel economy.) Preliminary data in the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2020 Automotive Trends Report shows that average fuel economy for all 2020 light-duty vehicles — cars, SUVs, and most pickup trucks — increased to 25.7 mpg, up from 24.9 mpg for 2019 models. If the data is confirmed, this would make 2020 a record year for total average fuel economy.  

Click here to see America’s most eco-friendly vehicles.

Average fuel economy data incorporate all types of cars, from fuel-sipping minis to gigantic gas chuggers. Prices vary, too. A base model Chevrolet Spark hatchback costs about $13,400, and you’ll get a combined average of 33 mpg from it, while a BMW i8 hybrid roadster provides 38 mpg — but starts at nearly $150,000. For less expensive ways to be ecologically responsible, here are 20 ways to make your summer more environmentally friendly.

To identify America’s most eco-friendly vehicles, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the Environmental Protection Agency’s Fuel Economy Guide for 2020. Hybrids, all-electric cars, and conventional gasoline-fueled vehicles in the most popular categories are included. The miles-per-gallon estimates are a combined figure, assuming 55% city driving and 45% highway driving. In the case of hybrids and all-electric cars, a conversion factor was used to translate fuel economy into mpg.