From zero-emission, all-electric vehicles to fuel-efficient diesel cars, Green Car Journal has named its top five green vehicles of 2012 and, from this list of finalists, will announce the winner of its 2012 Green Car of the Year award next month.
A panel of environmental leaders such as Sierra Club Chairman Carl Pope and Natural Resources Defense Council President Frances Beinecke will vote to name one of these finalists as the greenest car of 2012, announcing the winner at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Nov. 17.
The nominated vehicles represent a variety of approaches auto makers are employing to lessen a car’s impact on the planet. The Honda Civic Natural Gas runs on an alternative fuel that is abundant in the U.S. and burns cleaner than gasoline, while the diesel Volkswagen Passat TDI produces lower emissions than a typical gas car and achieves a high mpg.
The Prius v is a roomier version of Toyota’s popular hybrid and marks an expansion of the Prius into its own family of vehicles. The Ford Focus Electric and Mitsubish i are two new zero-emission, all-electric vehicles.
“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, in a statement. “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.”
This is the seventh consecutive year that Green Car Journal has rewarded environmental leadership in the automotive industry. Last year, the 2011 Chevy Volt garnered the title of Green Car of the Year, narrowly beating out the other four finalists: the Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, Lincoln MKZ Hybrid and Nissan LEAF.