Life-cycle Assessment of 1,400 Models Reveals Best of 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
30 December 2014 [Santa Rosa, CA] – On the heels of the United Nations Climate Change Summit in Lima, Peru this month, the Automotive Science Group (ASG) released its 2015 Automotive Performance Index findings today. ASG’s findings help consumers take action in this “Year of Climate Ambition” (and future years) as described by the UN Secretary on Climate Change, by making purchasing decisions that are not only in their best financial interest, but also in the best interest of the environment in which we live and the global community of which we are all an equal part. Responsible purchasing decisions now support a low carbon resilient future for all.
ASG is changing the way we define value in today’s hyper-competitive automotive marketplace by providing life-cycle data-driven findings that help consumers make informed car purchasing decisions that are ecologically sustainable, socially equitable and economically viable.
ASG uses a principled life-cycle approach to defining an automobile’s value and relative worth, essentially breaking down each vehicle into the sum of its parts, and measuring the natural capital, human capital and the economic efficiencies embodied within each vehicle to derive its real market value. Whether it’s a commitment to buy American-made, an environmental prerogative to reduce one’s carbon footprint, or purely an economic choice to save on fuel costs, ASG’s dynamic research findings and value assessments provide an unbiased guide for today’s judicious automotive buyer.
“ASG bridges the information gap that has long existed between the scientific community and the automotive consumer who stands to benefit from this information exchange” said Colby Self, Managing Director at ASG. “By providing objective data-driven insights, we differentiate the best vehicles from the heap of mainstream offerings, and with a social conscience.”
2015 KEY FINDINGS – CAR & SUV
The 2015 Nissan LEAF is ASGʼs BEST ALL-AROUND PERFORMANCE selection (best combined environmental, social and economic performance) for model year 2015. ASG assessed more than 1,400 model year 2015 vehicles in the North American market, and the LEAF is our top selection for the second consecutive year.
ASG’s 2015 study also found the Nissan LEAF to hold the smallest life-cycle carbon footprint of any model year 2015 automobile available in the North American market (measured in life-cycle gross energy requirement and greenhouse gas emissions), also earning the 2015 BEST ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE honor. While the electricity mix of the U.S. grid varies by region, the average forecasted mix for 2015 will provide an energy source for the Nissan LEAF that is environmentally preferred over conventional combustion engines. Looking forward, energy forecasts identify a cleaner electricity mix across the U.S. grid, further increasing the environmental benefits of electric technologies in future years.
Looking to conventional technologies, ASGʼs study found the 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage to hold the smallest life-cycle carbon footprint of any conventionally powered vehicle in North America, earning the distinguished 2015 BEST ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE honor among all 2015 conventionally powered vehicles. The Mirage was also the top ranked conventionally powered vehicle in our all-around performance assessment, earning the distinguished 2015 BEST ALL-AROUND PERFORMANCE honor among all 2015 conventionally powered vehicles in North America.
From an economic standpoint, the 2015 Chevrolet Spark was found to hold the lowest cost of ownership over a five-year economic forecast, taking into account purchase and operating costs of all model year 2015 automobiles available in the North American market, earning the coveted BEST ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE honor. The 2015 Jeep Patriot was found to hold the lowest cost of ownership among all Crossovers and SUVs, earning the BEST ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE honor over all Crossovers and SUVs for the third year in a row.
The 2015 Mazda CX-5 was the top performer among all Crossovers and SUVs, earning the 2015 BEST ALL-AROUND PERFORMANCE honor, while the 2015 Honda CR-V was found to hold the smallest life-cycle carbon footprint of any model year 2015 Crossover and SUV available in North America, earning the 2015 BEST ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE honor.
From a social performance perspective – considering the rights of those charged with vehicle manufacture and assembly – MINI, BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Ford, Nissan and Honda each produced an award-winning vehicle in class, demonstrating sound corporate social responsibility initiatives.
To view ASG’s top selections and honors by class, visit www.automotivescience.com. ASG will release its 2015 Truck assessments in mid-January 2015.