Green Car Journal announced its five finalists for the 2012 Green Car of the Year® award today. For the seventh consecutive year, the award honors environmental leadership in the automotive field, with the winner being announced during a press conference at the Los Angeles Auto Show Press Days on Nov. 17.
This year’s five finalists: 2012 Ford Focus Electric; 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas; 2012 Mitsubishi I; 2012 Toyota Prius v; and 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI. The award recognizes vehicles that become available by Jan. 1 of the award year.
These five finalists also are honored as Green Car Journal’s Top 5 Green Cars for 2012 for rising to the top of a field replete with increasingly more environmentally conscious and exciting models.
What is notable about this year’s field of outstanding nominees, noted Green Car Journal, is that they represent different takes on what makes a car “green.
· Honda’s Civic Natural Gas champions an alternative fuel that burns cleanly and is abundant in the United States.
· The Volkswagen Passat TDI continues this automaker’s expansion of new clean diesel products that produce significantly lower emissions while achieving a high-mpg rating.
· The Prius v is a larger variant of Toyota’s popular hybrid model and marks an expansion of Prius into its own family of vehicles.
· Ford’s Focus Electric and Mitsubishi’s i continue the march toward greater choices of zero-emission all-electric vehicles on American highways.
Dozens of models are considered that feature improved environmental impact and increased efficiencies. Vehicles running on all fuels and technologies are considered. Along with quantifiable environmental achievement, market significance and ‘newness’ are but a few of many criteria considered as the field is narrowed to a final five.
Green Car of the Year jurors include leaders of the nation’s top environmental organizations, including Carl Pope, chairman of the Sierra Club; Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council; Jean-Michel Cousteau, president of Ocean Futures Society; and Matt Petersen, president of Global Green USA. Also, Jay Leno, noted auto enthusiast and host of the “Tonight Show,” as well as automotive icon Carroll Shelby join Green Car Journal editors in rounding out the 2012 jury.