In what's become a perennial honor, Honda was named the "Greenest Automaker" by the non-profit Union of Concerned Scientists for the fifth time in the five years the program has existed. Scored as part of its "Automaker Rankings 2010" program, Honda's index ranking of 86 narrowly edged out Toyota and Hyundai by a single point in what turned out to be the closest finish ever.
Scoring for Greenest Automaker honors is based on an assessment of the smog-forming and global warming emissions of the entire fleet of vehicles sold here by the eight largest automakers to objectively determine the companies true environmental impact. This latest ranking by the Union of Concerned Scientists reflects data from vehicles sold in the 2008 model year, the latest for which full stats were available. Next in line, Volkswagen and Nissan scored 90 and 93 respectively on the scale while the three U.S. manufacturers brought up the rear, Ford coming in at 108, General Motors and 109 and Chrysler at 113.
While Honda retains bragging rights for at least one more season, the Union of Concerned Scientists feels that next year could see a new winner claim the Greenest Automaker title. With its already impressively clean and broad-based lineup, Hyundai is seen as the most likely to succeed in dethroning Honda based on its commitment to introducing new strains of even-greener powertrain technologies and its stated commitment to emphasizing four-cylinder engines.