energy insights

Bloomberg Launches Inaugural Green EV Ranking

Bloomberg News Energy Finance announced in July that the number of electric vehicles (EV) in the world eclipsed the 20-million mark at the end of June and will reach 25 million by the end of the year.

To U.S. consumers, that means things are getting a lot more complicated when picking out the EV that best meets their needs. Last year, they only had 10 or so models to choose from. This year, there are three times that many. Next year, Bloomberg says there will be dozens more.

That’s why Bloomberg has introduced the Bloomberg Green’s Electric Car Ratings, sort of a Kelley Blue Book of the EV world. Bloomberg’s list includes all the EVs sold in the U.S., and it ranks them according to their green rating, a 0-100 score derived from a formula that considers miles of range, curb weight, carbon footprint, battery size and more.

However, there are other factors to consider, which some other groups use in calculating their “green score,” such as Future ratings may even consider the incorporation of component sourcing, such as battery materials, in equations meant to evaluate certain ESG issues such as labor conditions and mining footprints.

“Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to intricately measure the climate cost of any particular vehicle,” Bloomberg says on its ratings website. “The range of critical metrics is dizzying: from the fuel source of the utility feeding the factory, to the specific chemical mix of the car’s battery.

“When we set out to create a model for measuring the ‘greenness’ of the current crop of electric vehicles, we focused on simplicity and equity. We wanted an equation that was relatively easy to understand, quick to apply to new vehicles hitting the market and, nevertheless, a fair proxy for climate costs that could be applied evenly from one car to another,” Bloomberg said.

Ratings creators say the list looks at two metrics to determine how “green” an EV is. The first is driving economy, which captures how well a car uses its resources to get down the road. The second is battery size, which is a proxy for the carbon cost of making the vehicle.

Bloomberg’s green ratings rank best to worst in terms of sustainability, and EVs on the lower end could become fodder for skeptics, but list creators point out that, regardless of their green rating, all EVs on its list are “drastically” cleaner than conventional gasoline vehicles.

While the number of EVs is skyrocketing, there are still more than a billion vehicles in the world, which means the 20 million EVs on the road today hardly mean electric vehicles are in the mainstream. However, as more buyers enter the EV market, it will be important they be educated on what they are buying and what that vehicle represents.

Bloomberg’s green rating is no frivolous undertaking. Automakers would not be spending billions to ramp up production if they didn’t see promise. Last May, J.D. Power reported that one in four Americans surveyed said they were “very likely” to go electric with their next car purchase. And when they do, Bloomberg will be there to show them how each car measures up.