Move over Chevy Volt, get out the way Nissan Leaf — the Civic GX NGV has been named “Greenest Vehicle” by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) for the seventh straight year! The Civic GX beat out both new electric vehicles as well as the Toyota Prius and three other Honda models on the list, making 2010 the ninth consecutive year that Honda has had more than three cars honored as ACEEE’s “Greenest Vehicles.”

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So what makes the Honda Civic GX so green? Well, the limited model runs on compressed natural gas, which overall makes it ‘greener’ than certain electric, hybrid and gasoline-combustion models. The Honda Civic came first because the Council uses a different method of calculating the environmental impact than the Environmental Protection Agency.

“We consider not just what emissions are coming out of the tailpipe while the vehicle is running. The E.P.A. would consider the Leaf a zero-emissions vehicle because electric vehicles have zero tailpipe emissions,” said Therese Langer speaking to Green Optimistic. She added that so-called upstream emissions of electric cars can be substantial, depending on where and how its energy is produced.

interestingly, this year’s list of the Top 12 Greenest Cars contains 13 vehicles, as there was a 12th-place tie. The Nissan Leaf came second while the Chevy Volt came 12th — tied with the Mazda 2. Here’s is the overall list for the top 13 greenest vehicles for 2011:

1. Honda Civic GX
2. Nissan Leaf
3. Smart Fortwo cabriolet and coupe
4. Toyota Prius
5. Honda Civic Hybrid
6. Honda Insight
7. Ford Fiesta SFE
8. Chevrolet Cruze Eco
9. Hyundai Elantra
10. Mini Cooper
11. Toyota Yaris
12. Chevrolet Volt
13. Mazda 2

+ Honda Civic GX

Via Greener Cars via Green Optimistic