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5 2010 Vehicles that Are the Most Eco-Friendly

Updated December 5, 2014

Just because a car, truck or SUV gets good fuel economy does not make it eco-friendly. When hybrids like the Toyota Prius first came out, they were not very eco-friendly as there were no recycling systems in place for their battery packs, wiring, cables and electronics. In the past few years, however, Toyota and Honda both have implemented widespread recycling programs for their hybrid models, going so far as to even offer $200 for depleted battery packs. The plant where Toyota gets the majority of its nickel for the battery packs in the Prius (located in Ontario, Canada) was even noted for being one of the most polluting plants on the entire planet. But in recent years this facility has cut back on emissions by 90% and replanted millions of trees in the surrounding countryside. Suffice it to say, when Toyota talks the talk, they walk the walk.

Toyota Prius

(Most Eco-Friendly Hybrid) Thanks to its 50 mile per gallon plus fuel economy ratings and the aforementioned improvements in its “green credentials,” the Toyota Prius definitely qualifies as the most eco-friendly hybrid. And really, where would the hybrid market be without this daringly styled pioneer?Probably still stuck in the brains of some really smart Toyota engineers.

Ford F-150

(Most Eco-Friendly Pickup Truck) But a truck can’t be eco-friendly, can it? They guzzle gas and hog all of those parking spots in suburban shopping centers! The F-150 may still feature V8 engines that use a lot of gas but they are manufactured out of many recyclable materials and the River Rouge, Michigan plant where they are assembled is notoriously “green.” Even the roof of the manufacturing site is literally “green”-it is covered in Sedum plants that absorb storm water and convert carbon dioxide into oxygen. The F-150 plant is also surrounded by hundreds of thousands of trees and flowering perennials planted by the manufacturer and many energy saving technologies are in place at this site.

Subaru Legacy/Outback

(The Waste Free Family Sedan) The Indiana facility where these family friendly all-wheel drive sedans and wagons are manufactured is the only landfill waste free manufacturing facility in the world. They also are the some of the most fuel efficient all wheel drive vehicles on the market today. Can’t get more green than that, now can you?

Mini Cooper

(The Recycled Hot Hatch) Not only does the Mini Cooper boast retro styling but it is also built with 10% recycled plastics. All Mini Cooper models also boast fuel economy ratings in the 30s ensuring their place in the eco-friendly car echelon.

Jeep Wrangler

(The Most Eco-Friendly Vehicle Womb to Tomb) In a study that gauged the carbon footprint of every car, truck and SUV on the market today from its manufacturing waste to its recyclability at the end of its life the Jeep Wrangler surprisingly came in as the least damaging to the environment. Thanks to its simple design, incredible durability and highly recyclable parts content the Jeep Wrangler is the go anywhere off-roader you can buy with a clean (and green) conscience.

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Chris Riley
About Chris Riley

I have been wrecking cars for as long as I've been driving them but I keep coming back for more. Two wheels or four, I'm all in. GearHeads.org gives me a chance to give something back to the automobile community.

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