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Diesel, Gas-Powered Models Dominate Green Car of the Year Finalists

Jurors focus on diesels, other high-mileage options.

by on Oct.17, 2013

Jurors picked two diesels, inclluding the new BMW 328d, the maker's first 4-cylinder "oil-burner" to reach U.S. showrooms.

Green cars are going mainstream.  American motorists no longer have to look for stone-pony-slow econoboxes or premium-priced specialty vehicles to drive something clean and fuel-efficient, and that has made for an interesting round of choices as the sponsors of the Green Car of the Year reveal their five finalists.

Significantly, while there’s been much media attention on electrification in recent years, the list includes only one battery-based model, the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid, with not a single additional plug-in or pure battery-electric vehicle making the cut. By comparison, there are two new diesels and a pair of models using new technologies to boost the fuel efficiency of conventional gas vehicles.

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The finalists for the 2014 Green Car of the Year, in short, underscore the general perception within the industry itself that there is no single, silver bullet when it comes to reducing emissions and improving fuel economy.

“The diversity of this field of finalists illustrates not only that ‘green’ has gone mainstream, but also that there is no single approach to achieving ever higher levels of fuel efficiency and environmental performance,” says Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal and, which sponsor the annual award.

The five finalists for 2014 include:

Five Green Car Finalists Revealed

Not all even have hit market yet.

by on Oct.24, 2011

Though it won't go on sale until December, Ford's Focus Electric is a finalist in the Green Car of the Year awards announced next month.

The first 2012 Ford Focus Electric won’t even reach buyers in California until the very end of the year but it apparently has had a significant impact on the judges for the Green Car of the Year, landing among the five finalists for the prestigious award.

The jury has chosen a mix of products that reveals the breadth of alternative powertrain market, with the finalists including a conventional hybrid, two pure battery-electric vehicles, a clean diesel and a natural gas-powered offering.

Along with the Focus Electric, the Green Car finalists include the 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas, the 2012 Mitsubishi i, the 2012 Toyota Prius v and the 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI.

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“This year’s Green Car of the Year finalists underscore that there is no single solution to our transportation challenges,” said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal and “Here we have five exceptional answers to the question of how we’re going to increase efficiencies, reduce tailpipe and CO2 emissions, and decrease petroleum use.”