List of Most Efficient Cars in 2022 Dominated by Electric Vehicles

Originally published by Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The 2022 Fuel Economy Guide, released by ORNL for the DOE/EPA fuel website, provides up-to-date fuel economy information, environmental and safety data, so consumers can choose the most fuel-efficient vehicle that meets their needs. Credit: Andrew Sproles/ORNL, US Dept. of Energy

With the holiday road trip season approaching and more workers returning to the office and on the daily commute, Oak Ridge National Laboratory has released the federal government’s new Fuel Economy Guide for 2022. The report provides the latest fuel efficiency stats and money-saving tips for new and used cars.

For the first time, two electric vehicles with a driving range of 500 miles are at the top of the guide’s 10 most fuel-efficient vehicles.

The top 10 “fuel grilles” of the 2022 models in the new guide are all-electric vehicles with a minimum fuel economy of 111 miles per gallon. The guide is part of the fueleconomy.gov website, which is operated by ORNL for the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.

With more electric vehicles on the market than ever before, fueleconomy.gov has new features this year to help shoppers choose the best electric vehicle for their needs and budget. A new tool allows consumers to look at the upstream emissions of their vehicles by zip code. This feature allows users to see how the electricity generation methods in their area affect the total greenhouse gas emissions. Another tool that allows electric vehicle owners to track fuel efficiency in either kilowatt-hours or miles per gallon equivalent.

fueleconomy.gov is DOE’s most visited site, attracting more than 30 million user sessions in the 2021 model year — more than any year since 2015. The site provides consumers with information to help guide purchasing decisions for all types of vehicles, including vehicles Current electric federal tax credits, plus operation and maintenance guidelines, save drivers money. Consumers can customize estimates for their annual mileage and local fuel prices, for example.

The fuel saving sticker on the windows of the new car includes the same data as the fuel saving guide, and the sticker’s QR code will show that specific vehicle with additional information from the website. ORNL researchers are also working to launch mobile apps for fueleconomy.gov.

Interest in electric vehicles is clearly increasing as more models appear on the market. In fact, of the top 50 vehicles searched on Fueleconomy.gov in fiscal year 2021, 44 were hybrid or all-electric vehicles.

But the fuel economy of many conventional gasoline vehicles also continues to rise, according to Stacey Davis, who leads the Fuel Economy Projects and Fuel Economy Guide at ORNL. Four of the models included in the “best in class” list of cars by volume are conventionally fueled.

Gone are the days when consumers who wanted the most fuel-efficient car were urged to drive the smallest cars available, Davis said. Today, with advanced engines and drivetrains, customers can use the guide to enter the vehicle size that best suits their needs, and Fuel Economy gov will provide a comparable list of vehicles and fuel efficiency ratings to help guide decisions.

“I think as our choice of vehicle types increases, especially with the new electric drivetrains, it is more important than ever to understand the specifications of the vehicles you have the option to purchase,” Davis said.

UT-Battelle ORNL is directed by the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, the largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. The Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit energy.gov/science.

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