Hyundai Kona, Renault Zoe emerge as the ‘greenest’ EVs in Green NCAP test
Hyundai Kona and Renault Zoe electric cars have emerged as the cleanest of electric cars in a test conducted by Green NCAP, which tests emission standards of EVs.
The agency recently released the results of 24 cars that have undergone the tests. It throws light on some big differences between the best and worst performing conventionally-powered cars.
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The tests were conducted among electric and hybrid vehicles available in the European market. However, no Tesla cars are part of this list since they were not tested by Green NCAP.
Hyundai Kona and Renault Zoe achieved a maximum five-star rating, with top marks for clean air, energy efficiency and greenhouse gases. Third on the list is the Toyota C-HR with three and a half stars. According to the test results, Toyota has improved efficiency by utilising hybrid technology alongside its petrol engine and does so to better effect than the similarly-powered Honda CR-V which received two and a half stars.
Volkswagen Polo, Renault Clio and Peugeot 208 were all rated as three-star vehicles. At the other end of the scale, the large people-carriers like Volkswagen Transporter, Mercedes-Benz V-Class and Opel Zafira received one and a half stars, mainly because of their weight and poorer aerodynamics. While very effective after-treatment means they control pollutant emissions well, they require a lot of energy – fuel - to move their weight around. The SUVs emerge little better than the vans with, on average, just over two stars.
In the large family car class, the Mercedes-Benz C220d gets three stars while the BMW 320d and VW Passat 2.0 TDI get two and a half stars apiece. The Mercedes, in particular, impressed with its control of pollutant emissions which, while nowhere near the zero tailpipe emissions of electric cars, nevertheless demonstrated what can be done with good engine design and exhaust after-treatment.
Green NCAP ratings offer the best of both worlds in terms of evaluation by combining accurate measurements from extended laboratory testing with relevant real-world driving tests. The rating scheme now adds the assessment of greenhouse gases to those of clean air and energy efficiency, providing even more broad and comprehensive information for consumers.
The revised rating scheme accords well with the sentiments expressed in a comprehensive European consumer survey, the full results of which will be published early next year.
No plug-in hybrids are included in this round of tests but the first will be included the next round, expected in February of next year. Going forward, Green NCAP plans to further extend its analysis from ‘tank to wheel’ to ‘well to wheel’ and take account of the ‘upstream’ emissions involved in the manufacture of fuels or in the generation of electricity. For the time being, the Green NCAP’s 2020 ratings are still based on ‘tank to wheel’ even though the recent update to the methodology and inclusion of new measurements means that the ratings are significantly different to those published in 2019 and should not be compared.