2012 Green Car Of The Year Finalists Announced


The 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show is just a few weeks away. So are the 2012 Green Car of the Year awards. Many big names are in contention this year sporting a wide range of technologies including diesel, natural gas, hybrid and electric vehicles. So who are this year’s contenders? Click the jump to find out.

Ford Focus Electric

Arguably the least-proven of the five candidates, the Ford Focus Electric is the Blue Oval’s freshman effort in the electric car field. It still doesn’t have an EPA rating (though that should be coming any day) though it does have a $39,995 price tag before tax credits. It also lacks Level 3 charging capability, but is loaded with technology and standard features other competitors lack. But will people really buy a $40,000 Focus?

Verdict: The Long Shot

About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.
  • Marc P.

    I think the winner is the absent one, that is… the Volt. Innovative concept and, despite it’s hefty price which should come down, the only real “bridge” product on our way to a truly zero emission. This is a vehicle that people could actually buy and use as their only vehicle and not a fancy golf cart to show off to your Sierra Club member friends, but leave in the driveway on weekdays as you use your other… real car.

  • Breath on the Wind

    Trying to pick the “green car of the year” is a bit like trying to pick the most valuable child. It very much depends upon who you ask, under what circumstances, and under what considerations. If I am a social planner I would be thinking about manufacturing processes. If I am operating in a mine I might only be interested in exhaust and emissions without any other considerations. Am I going to look at manufacturing costs and materials? In this case any used or remanufactured vehicle is going to be better than any vehicle made from new materials. Are we going to examine future considerations or just what we see? I would want to know how natural gas or hydrogen or any other fuel is produced. Will I look at entire life cycles so that any car that is made from plant matter is better than any vehicle made from material that requires a manfactured basis for more rapid recycling. Can a vehicle be more “green” if the required infrastructure is not?

    Like trying to pick the most valuable child we can easily have favorites that may more closely fit our perceived needs than our actual ones. The pursuit of the “greenest car” can be a thought provoking exercise or an attempt to avoid true consideration. It is really up to us.