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With the Prius and other efficient hybrid vehicles, Toyota once had a reputation for being one of the most environmentally-friendly car brands. However, the Japanese automaker has been hesitant to join the EV wave. Consequently, Toyota’s environmental image is tarnished — and it’s fallen behind other automakers for electric cars. However, now, it’s making up ground with the new 2023 Toyota bZ4X electric crossover SUV. And according to a recent study, the bZ4X is one of the most eco-friendly cars. 

2023 Toyota bZ4X electric SUV is one of the most environmentally-friendly cars in GreenerCars rankings

Front angle view of new 2023 Toyota bZ4X electric SUV, one of the most eco-friendly cars
2023 Toyota bZ4X electric SUV | Toyota

Recently, GreenerCars released its annual Greenest List, which honors the mass-produced cars that cause the least amount of environmental damage. The Greenest List is based on scores from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and its environmental damage index (EDX). 

The EDX scores show the cost of environmental damage to human health — measured in cents per mile. It takes into account several factors, including pollution from vehicle emissions, the manufacture and disposal of cars, and the production and distribution of electricity and gasoline. 

A lower EDX score results in a higher Greenest List ranking. And with an EDX score of $0.69 per mile, the 2023 Toyota bZ4X is one of the most eco-friendly cars. The only models that rank higher on the Greenest List are the 2023 MINI Cooper Electric ($0.66/mile), the 2023 Nissan LEAF ($0.68/mile), and the 2023 Mazda MX-30 ($0.68/mile).

Here are the most eco-friendly cars on the 2023 Greenest List — along with their EDX scores:

  1. MINI Cooper Electric: $0.66/mile
  2. Nissan LEAF: $0.68/mile
  3. Mazda MX-30: $0.68/mile
  4. Toyota bZ4X: $0.69/mile
  5. Subaru Solterra: $0.69/mile
  6. Hyundai Elantra Hybrid: $0.73/mile
  7. Kia Niro Hybrid: $0.77/mile
  8. Toyota Camry Hybrid: $0.77/mile
  9. Hyundai Sonata Hybrid: $0.78/mile
  10. Toyota Corolla Hybrid: $0.79/mile
  11. Lexus NX Hybrid: $0.80/mile
  12. Hyundai Kona Electric: $0.81/mile

The list of environmentally-friendly vehicles is dominated by electric cars. Also, all of the top five models are EVs, which includes the Subaru Solterra electric SUV, which is mechanically similar to the Toyota bZ4X. Additionally, the rest of the vehicles on the Greenest List are hybrids and plug-in hybrids. No fully gas-powered models made the list.

2023 Toyota bZ4X: Efficiency ratings and driving range

Cabin in new 2023 Toyota bZ4X electric SUV, one of the most eco-friendly cars
2023 Toyota bZ4X electric SUV | Toyota

Like other EVs, the 2023 Toyota bZ4X has zero vehicle emissions, which helped it catapult to near the top of the most eco-friendly car list. Also, it’s very efficient. The electric SUV gets an estimated fuel-efficiency rating of up to 131 city/107 highway MPGe.

Another factor is Toyota’s efficient and conservation-minded manufacturing processes, which minimize waste, utilize alternative energy sources such as solar power, and incorporate recycled materials.

Also, the bZ4X has an estimated driving range of 252 miles. And with a DC fast charger, the new Toyota electric SUV can add an 80% charge in less than an hour. 

What’s the worst car for the environment?

Along with its Greenest List, GreenerCars released a Meanest List, which features the worst cars for the environment. These heavily polluting and gas-guzzling vehicles have the highest EDX scores. 

And the worst one of all is the Ram 1500 TRX ($2.78/mile), which is followed by the Ford F-150 Raptor R ($2.67/mile), Cadillac Escalade V-Series ($2.58/mile), Dodge Durango SRT ($2.44/mile), and Jeep Wrangler ($2.33/mile). 

However, based on the results of the GreenerCars study, the most eco-friendly cars are EVs, including the 2023 Toyota bZ4X electric SUV. With its efficient electric powertrain and zero emissions, the bZ4X causes less damage to the environment than the vast majority of other vehicles.