Electric Cars Top EPA's Fuel-Efficiency List

(3BL Media/Just Means) - In the ​new ​Environmental Protection Agency’s Fuel Economy list for 2014 models, electric vehicles once ​shine brightly, thanks to their sustainability credential​s​. The list was based on criteria that looked at combined city and highway fuel economy estimates (weighted by 55% city and 45% highway). Chevrolet Spark EV topped the list with a combined MPGe of 119, followed by Honda Fit at 118.

Chevrolet said in a blog post that Spark will save the average driver $9,000 in fuel costs over five years compared to the average new vehicle.

Drivers who buy their Sparks in California and Oregon not only benefit from fuel economy and a more sustainable drive, but they also benefit from the SAE fast-charge connector as a vehicle option. The new combined AC and DC charging connector is accessible via a single charge port on the vehicle and increases electricity flow many times over.

To get an idea of how much faster the charging process becomes, in around 20 minutes the Spark EV’s battery can be fully charged using the DC fast charging. Compare that to AC 120V charging, which can be done using a conventional household outlet. It takes around 17 hours to fully charge. AC 240V charging reduces recharging time to less than seven hours for a full charge, but it requires a dedicated 240V charging station.

“If this year’s list of the most fuel-efficient vehicles on the market tells us anything, it’s that EVs are continuing to grow in popularity. And as more and more hit the market, choices for potential buyers will only increase, which means good things for the wallet and the environment,” Chevrolet said.

Meanwhile, Cars.com named the 2013 Nissan LEAF its “Eco-Friendly Car of the Year.” Chevrolet was competing with its Volt and Volkswagen with its Jetta Sportswagen TDI. The website said the LEAF “is accessible, high-volume, and most recently started to address the limitations that have kept people from buying it.” Electric vehicles, although not emissions-free and whose credentials largely depend on the source of the electricity fed into them, are an important contribution to creating alternatives to gasoline ​-based transportation​. As the technology continues to evolve, and solar power becomes a more significant source of power, ​EVs​ will play a key role in mitigating tailpipe emissions.

Image credit: Chevrolet