Green NCAP has published its 24-strong list of the latest and ‘greenest’ cars with the all-electric Renault Zoe and Hyundai Kona Electric bagging top scores.
The two pure electric models achieved Green NCAP’s maximum rating of five stars, with top marks for clean air, energy efficiency and greenhouse gasses.
The Toyota C-HR was awarded three-and-a-half stars while the Renault Clio, Volkswagen Polo, Peugeot 208, Seat Ibiza, Renault Captur, Mercedes C220d received three stars.
Two-a-half-stars were given to the BMW 320d and VW Passat 2.0 TDI, while SUVs like Mazda’s CX-5, the Kia Sportage and Nissan Qashqai were handed two stars, one-and-a-half stars and two-and-a-half stars respectively.
Big MPVs and SUVs didn’t fare too well, said Green NCAP, largely on account of their size and aero efficiency.
Operated by Euro NCAP, Green NCAP examines the cleanest and greenest cars on sale and awards them points.
The tests involve laboratory tests and real-world driving, and the latest tests have added greenhouse gasses to the procedure.
Niels Jacobsen, CEO of International Consumer Research and Testing and President of Euro NCAP, said the tests will further evolve to to take into account the life-cycle of the cars tested.
He said: ‘As we measure only tailpipe emissions, electric cars naturally come out best in this round of assessments.
‘However, Green NCAP will continue to evolve and we plan to include well to wheel emission measures and, ultimately, life-cycle analysis as a baseline for future ratings.
‘With our current ratings, hybrid cars have obvious opportunities to score better than non-hybrids, but they don’t always do that as manufacturers may decide to reduce costs by omitting simple but effective exhaust after-treatment devices such as particulate filters. Such lost opportunities are revealing and disheartening.
‘Among combustion engine cars, the best performers are smaller cars, mounted with effective exhaust after-treatment where hybrid technology can give them an extra notch up in the ratings.’