Choosing the right car is an effective way to reduce emissions in the U.S. but where you drive is just as important as what you drive when choosing a climate-friendly car.
Climate Central assessed a suite of 2017 model-year vehicles to produce the Climate-Friendly Car Guide, an interactive platform to explore the climate-friendly car options in your state. Plugging an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle into an electric grid that relies heavily on dirty fossil fuels can emit more greenhouse gases than simply driving a high-efficiency gas vehicle.
Since our first report in 2012, 39 states have reduced their reliance on coal burning for electricity generation, meaning emissions per kilowatt-hour of electricity generated are lower today in these states. In addition, more electric and plug-in options have also become available in recent years. As a result, more electric and plug-in cars are among the top 10 most climate-friendly cars in more states than in our first report.