The 2020 model year is an important one for ‘green’ cars as an increasing number of more environmentally positive vehicles make their way to market. What’s also notable is that this is happening across the board, from entry-level sedans and luxury cars to pickups and crossover/SUVs.
Green Car Journal undertakes an extensive vetting process that considers the universe of potential ‘green’ finalists in the U.S. market and narrows the field to a top five in popular, high-profile award categories. Winners are identified in each of these categories, with awards presented by Green Car Journal editor/publisher Ron Cogan and senior editor Cam Benty at awards press conferences in Los Angeles, San Antonio, and Washington DC.
Award winners earn their Green Car Awards™ distinctions by raising the bar in standing out with their exceptional efficiency, desired features, and a satisfying driving experience, Along with the standard hallmarks of safety, value, performance, and style, efficiency and affordability to the mass market are important elements in the selection of Green Car Awards™ winners. Substantial numbers of more environmentally positive vehicles such as these on the nation’s highways brings a cumulative and significant reduction of carbon emissions and fuel use over time.
The winner of the magazine’s legacy Green Car of the Year® award – presented at the LA Auto Show since 2005 – is selected by a high-profile jury that includes leaders of national environmental and efficiency organizations, auto enthusiast/entertainer Jay Leno, and Green Car Journal editors. Rising to the top for consideration as 2020 Green Car of the Year® were the Ford Escape, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Soul, Mazda3, and Toyota Corolla. And the winner? Toyota’s all-new 2020 Corolla and Corolla Hybrid.
Featuring a more sophisticated look and riding on a stiffer platform with independent multilink rear suspension, the 12th generation Toyota Corolla features improved ride and handling and a full complement of driver assist systems rivaling those found in more expensive models. The conventionally-powered Corolla achieves notably high fuel economy of up to 31 city/40 highway mpg, with the Corolla Hybrid rated at an impressive 53 city/52 highway mpg. Importantly, affordable price points for both conventional and hybrid variants make them approachable to a great many buyers and not just a select few.
Also presented at the LA Auto Show, 2020 Green SUV of the Year™ finalists included the Ford Explorer Hybrid, Honda CR-V, Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid, Toyota Highlander Hybrid, and Toyota RAV4. Taking the win for 2020 Green SUV of the Year™ was the Honda CR-V and its new CR-V hybrid variant.
Honda’s popular CR-V offers an array of design and technology refinements for 2020 along with the important addition of an all-wheel drive hybrid version, the first hybrid Honda SUV sold in the U.S. The CR-V Hybrid uses Honda's efficient two-motor hybrid system to deliver an expected 50 percent fuel economy increase over the already-fuel efficient gasoline model. CR-Vs come standard with the full suite of Honda Sensing safety and driver-assist technologies.
Recognizing environmental leadership in the light truck category is increasingly important considering the huge number of pickups sold each year. Pickup enthusiasts are increasingly interested in style and connectivity, but also for the fundamentals that trucks are famous for, whether that’s handling commercial duties, towing a boat or trailer, carrying loads of gear, or just comfortably seating a family of five. Increasingly, buyers also want pickups offering greater efficiency and improved environmental impact. The Green Truck of the Year™ award recognizes leadership in this arena and is presented annually at the San Antonio Auto & Truck Show in San Antonio, Texas, in the heart of ‘truck country.’
This year’s 2020 Green Truck of the Year™ finalists included the Chevrolet Colorado, Chevrolet Silverado, Ford F-150, Ford Ranger, and RAM 1500. All offer far more sophisticated capabilities and greater environmental performance than the workhorse pickup trucks of years past, while also featuring the high levels of comfort, safety, and drivability of their passenger car counterparts. Green Car Awards™ jurors honored the RAM 1500 as the 2020 Green Truck of the Year™, the second year in a row this exceptional has earned this honor.
Its distinction as 2020 Green Truck of the Year™ is testament to the focus that RAM 1500 has on filling the needs of everyday drivers and tradesmen, while offering higher efficiency that decreases fuel use and carbon emissions. Along with its appealing design, lighter weight, and work-and-play functionality, RAM 1500 offers a new and more powerful 3.0-liter EcoDiesel powerplant that achieves an EPA estimated 22 city/32 highway mpg. A pair of eTorque mild hybrid powerplants, exclusive to the segment, deliver up to 20 city/26 highway mpg fuel efficiency. RAM 1500 features considerable towing and hauling capabilities and is equipped with the latest connected and driver-assist technologies.
The San Antonio Auto & Truck Show also hosted Green Car Journal’s inaugural 2020 Family Green Car of the Year™ award program. This high-profile award recognizes the increasingly important role that environmental performance plays in the family vehicle arena. Finalists included the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, Hyundai Venue, Kia Niro, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, and Nissan Versa. These models represent the spectrum of vehicle types most appealing to families including sedan, minivan, and crossover SUV models powered by efficient internal combustion and plug-in hybrid power, at varying price points affordable to most families. Driving away with the first-ever 2020 Family Green Car of the Year™ honor was Mitsubishi’s Outlander PHEV.
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV meets the diverse needs of families while delivering value, style, performance, and notable environmental performance. This plug-in hybrid SUV is stylish, comfortable, and spacious enough to handle all the trappings of family life, while offering a very approachable cost for a plug-in crossover with its level of features. Among its strengths is a sophisticated series and parallel hybrid powertrain that enables 22 miles of driving on battery power alone for daily errands or commuting, or greater than 300 miles of travel on hybrid power. It can plug in to a household outlet, a 240-volt wall or public charger, or even a public DC fast charger for quickly replenishing its lithium-ion batteries.
The finale for Green Car Journal’s awards season is the Green Car Awards™ presentation at the Washington Auto Show in Washington DC. This auto show, with its strategic adjacency to the halls of power that have long influenced environmental progress in the auto industry, is an ideal venue for the Green Car Awards™ that have been presented here since 2008.
In Washington, Green Car Journal honors the automotive field’s most important enabling technologies through its 2020 Green Car Technology of the Year™ award. The diverse technologies considered for this award are instrumental in making a new generation of more environmentally-positive vehicles possible. Finalists this year included BMW Wireless Charging, Ford’s Modular Hybrid Transmission, Hyundai Active Shift Control, Hyundai Continuously Variable Valve Duration, and Tesla V3 Supercharging. Rising above its fellow nominees was BMW Wireless Charging, which Green Car Awards™ jurors honored as the 2020 Green Car Technology of the Year™.
BMW Wireless Charging offers a new and innovative direction for the future of electric vehicle charging. Paired today with BMW’s 530e plug-in hybrid, this unique system uses magnetic induction to wirelessly charge a vehicle’s batteries without the need to plug in, shutting off automatically once charging is complete. The car’s center display guides drivers in positioning their car over the system’s charging GroundPad while parking.
The premium vehicle market is the focus for a growing array of electric, hybrid, and high efficiency models. These are honored by Green Car Journal’s Luxury Green Car of the Year™ award. Contenders this year included the BMW 745e, Karma Revero GT, Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring, Porsche Taycan, and Range Rover Evoque. Emerging the winner of the prestigious 2020 Luxury Green Car of the Year™ award was the Karma Revero GT.
Green Car Journal editors note that the Karma Revero GT exemplifies what can be accomplished with stunning design, great technology, and a sophisticated extended range electric drivetrain. Karma Automotive, a startup with manufacturing facilities in Southern California, devoted significant design and engineering efforts in evolving its earlier Karma Revero into the more sophisticated Revero GT that features new front and rear designs, all-new body panels, a sumptuous interior, and a new infotainment system. This restyled luxury sport sedan is not only compelling inside and out, but is motivated by an all-new series hybrid drivetrain delivering a greater 80 mile battery electric range, and 360 mile range overall with electricity from its BMW-sourced engine-generator.
Making it through Green Car Journal’s extensive vetting process to become one of the top five contenders for a Green Car Award™ is significant accomplishment. Selection as a finalist signifies that a new model or technology makes a notable contribution toward a new generation of cleaner, more efficient, and more environmentally compatible transportation. By virtue of their notable ‘green’ credentials and environmental achievement, each of the five finalists in all Green Car Awards™ categories is honored with Green Car Journal's prestigious 2020 Green Car Product of Excellence™ recognition.
An important part of Green Car Journal’s mission is encouraging environmental progress in the auto industry through its annual Green Car Awards™ program.
These high-profile awards recognize vehicles that champion environmental achievement while remaining true to their purpose – they are fun to drive, look to our safety, provide value, and deliver the attributes most important to new car buyers Importantly, they lead the way forward in meaningful ways through lower carbon emissions, greater efficiency, and improved overall environmental compatibility.
Green Car of the Year®, the magazine’s signature award first presented at the 2005 L.A. Auto Show, enjoys worldwide attention and is widely recognized as the most prestigious environmental award in the auto industry.
Weighing the merits of this award’s finalists are jurors from highly-respected efficiency and environmental organizations including Jean-Michel Cousteau, President of Ocean Futures Society; Matt Petersen, Board Chair of Climate Mayors; Dr. Alan Lloyd, Senior Research Fellow at the Energy Institute, University of Texas at Austin; Mindy Lubber, President of CERES; and Jason Hartke, President of the Alliance to Save Energy. Celebrity auto enthusiast Jay Leno and Green Car Journal editors round out the awards jury.
Models considered for Green Car Awards™ span all vehicle classes, from economy cars to luxury cars, and from Show. In addition, all five exceptional finalists for each award earn Green Car Journal’s 2019 Green Car Product of Excellence™ distinction for their environmental achievement.
GREEN CAR OF THE YEAR® Winner: Honda Insight. Finalists: Lexus ES 300h, Nissan Altima VC-Turbo, Toyota Avalon Hybrid, Volkswagen Jetta.
GREEN TRUCK OF THE YEAR™ Winner: RAM 1500. Finalists: Chevrolet Colorado, Chevrolet Silverado, Ford F-150, Ford Ranger.
CONNECTED GREEN CAR OF THE YEAR™ Winner: Nissan LEAF. Finalists: Audi e-tron, Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid, Tesla Model 3, Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.
COMMERCIAL GREEN CAR OF THE YEAR™ Winner: Ford Transit Connect. Finalists: Ford Special Service PHEV Sedan, Mercedes-Benz Metris, RAM 1500, RAM ProMaster City.
The third-generation Honda Insight features an all-new design that brings the model more into the mainstream and clearly carries the Honda DNA forward. It’s a significant departure from the quirky, wheel-skirted first-generation Insight hybrid that came to our shores in the 2000 model year and quite different from the second-generation Insight hatchback that looked way too similar to Toyota’s Prius. What the new Insight does have in common with the often-benchmarked Prius is pretty phenomenal fuel economy topping out at 55 mpg, along with a very satisfying driving experience expected of the Honda brand, at an accessible price of $22,830.
Taking its place between Honda’s Accord and Civic, the new Insight looks bigger than the Civic despite sharing many elements, like many of the key suspension pieces that make the Civic so great. It rides on a 106-inch wheelbase that provides comfortable cruising manners. Alloy wheels and low friction tires provide virtually no road noise, while additional dashboard, front inner fender, and hood insulation along with a fender enclosure seal out heat and sound to make for a quiet cabin. It earns a five-start NHTSA crashworthiness rating.
The Insight features an advanced two-motor hybrid system that generates class-leading total system output of 151 horsepower and 197 lb. ft. of torque, plenty to deliver satisfying acceleration and an overall driving experience that doesn’t sacrifice performance for the sake of efficiency. Beneath the skin are technological touches like electric-servo braking and responsive, variable-ratio electric power steering. Batteries located low in the chassis avoid encroaching on trunk space and contribute to a lower center of gravity for better handling.
Inside the Insight’s comfortable and well-appointed interior, the instrument panel, climate controls, and entertainment system are dramatically improved from the previous Insight. An 8-inch center display allows ready operation of all controls, though a volume knob is retained for easy volume adjustment. A 7-inch instrument panel display is customizable to suit the driver’s data requirements. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard. Drivers can select from Normal, Sport, and Econ driving modes, each delivering varying transmission shift points adjustment adjustments to improve mileage and acceleration. Steering wheel paddle shifters adjust the degree of battery regeneration to further tailor the driving experience.
Insight comes standard with Honda Sensing, a full suite of driver assist features that include Forward Collision Warning with Collision Mitigation Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Road Departure Mitigation, and Traffic Sign Recognition. Also included is Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-speed Follow, which allows a driver to set the distance between cars when in cruise control mode. In stop-and-go traffic Insight will follow without need for driver input.
Green Car Journal has made a strategic expansion of its annual Green Car of the Year® program at the LA Auto Show’s AutoMobility LA this year, now including complementary awards for 2019 Luxury Green Car of the Year™ and 2019 Green SUV of the Year™. The magazine has also just announced finalists for the three high-profile awards.
Finalists for 2019 Green Car of the Year® include the Honda Insight, Lexus ES 300h, Nissan Altima, Toyota Avalon Hybrid, and Volkswagen Jetta. Competing for 2019 Luxury Green Car of the Year™ are finalists Audi e-tron, Jaguar I-PACE, Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid, Range Rover P400e, and Tesla Model 3. The field of 2019 Green SUV of the Year™ finalists includes the Cadillac XT4, Hyundai Kona, Lexus UX, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, and the Volvo XC40.
Finalists for the 2019 Green Car of the Year® illustrate that 'green' comes in many forms, with efficient internal combustion and hybrid vehicles taking center stage. Gasoline models continue to achieve notable levels of efficiency and lower carbon emissions. At the same time, it's evident how important electrification has become in today's models, with two 2019 Green SUV of the Year™ finalists and all five finalists for the 2019 Luxury Green Car of the Year™ featuring battery electric or plug-in hybrid power. Green Car Journal has been recognizing leadership in the automotive field through its Green Car Awards program over the past 14 years.
2019 GREEN CAR OF THE YEAR FINALISTS
The new-generation Nissan Altima has a more aggressive stance, advanced ProPILOT Assist, and greater efficiency with its turbocharged, variable compression four-cylinder engine.
TOYOTA AVALON HYBRID
Toyota's new Avalon Hybrid is longer, lower, and more stylish, with high mpg and spirited driving delivered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and all-new Toyota Hybrid System II powertrain.
Since its inception in 2006, the Green Car of the Year® has been selected by Green Car Journal editors and invited jurors from highly-respected efficiency and environmental organizations. This year's invited Green Car of the Year® jurors include celebrity auto enthusiast Jay Leno; Jean-Michel Cousteau, President of Ocean Futures Society; Matt Petersen, President and CEO of Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator and Board Member of Global Green USA; Dr. Alan Lloyd, President Emeritus of the International Council on Clean Transportation and Senior Research Fellow at the Energy Institute, University of Texas at Austin; Mindy Lubber, President of CERES; and Jason Hartke, President of the Alliance to Save Energy.
2019 LUXURY GREEN CAR OF THE YEAR FINALISTS
The new Audi e-tron crossover SUV is this automaker's first all-electric production model, combining a handsome design, all-wheel drive performance, and a range of well over 200 miles.
PORSCHE CAYENNE E-HYBRID
RANGE ROVER P400e
TESLA MODEL 3
Tesla's latest offering, the Model 3, is a stylish and high-tech sedan offering a signature Tesla look, lots of advanced technology, and an EPA estimated electric range of 210 to 310 miles.
2019 GREEN SUV OF THE YEAR FINALISTS
MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER PHEV
The Honda Clarity family of vehicles has earned Green Car Journal’s 2018 Green Car of the Year Award® amid a field of finalists that all featured electrification as part of their market strategy, including the Honda Accord, Hyundai Ioniq, Nissan LEAF, and Toyota Camry. The award was announced at a Green Car Journal press conference during AutoMobilityLA at the LA Auto Show.
Honda’s Clarity sedan is a future-thinking model that redefines how to deliver what drivers desire today, while also anticipating the shifting needs of a more environmentally positive driving future. It is offered in three electrified variations – one powered by plug-in hybrid power, another exclusively by battery power, and a third by a hydrogen fuel cell that creates electricity on board. This distinguishes Honda as the first-ever automaker to do this.
The Clarity Fuel Cell, Clarity Electric, and Clarity Plug-in Hybrid use the same advanced platform and many of the same powertrain components, enabling Honda to amortize manufacturing costs. This also makes it straightforward to increase or decrease production of each variant to meet changing demand.
The winner was selected by a jury of environmental and efficiency leaders including Jean-Michel Cousteau, President of Ocean Futures Society; Matt Petersen, President and CEO of Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator and Board Member of Global Green USA; Dr. Alan Lloyd, President Emeritus of the International Council on Clean Transportation; Mindy Lubber, President of CERES; and Kateri Callahan, President of the Alliance to Save Energy, plus celebrity auto enthusiast Jay Leno and Green Car Journal editors.
Finalists for Green Car Journal’s 2017 Connected Green Car of the Year™, 2017 Luxury Green Car of the Year™, and 2017 Green SUV of the Year™ awards were announced at the LA Auto Show’s AutoMobility LA™ event in Los Angeles. Each of the finalists for 2017 Connected Green Car of the Year™ offers advanced connectivity and driver assistance systems combined with admirable levels of environmental performance. The finalists are the Audi A3 e-tron, Honda Civic, Mercedes-Benz C350e, Tesla Model X, and Toyota Prius Prime. Four are plug-in vehicles while one is powered by efficient gasoline internal combustion.
In contention for 2017 Luxury Green Car of the Year™ are the 2017 Acura NSX, BMW 740e xDrive iPerformance, Jaguar XE 20d, Mercedes-Benz S550e, and Range Rover Td6. This diverse group of premium ‘green’ finalists includes plug-in, hybrid, and advanced diesel vehicles. Also a diverse group, 2017 Green SUV of the Year™ finalists are efficient SUV and crossover models that achieve their efficiencies with plug-in, hybrid, and internal combustion power. Nominees include the BMW X5 xDrive40e iPerformance, Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-9, Mercedes-Benz GLE550e, and Nissan Rogue Hybrid.
Presented annually at The Washington Auto Show, the Green Car Awards™ honor the best-of-the-best in the important premium, connected, and SUV/crossover categories. Of particular importance is that these finalists achieve their environmental leadership in their own way. Hybrid power continues to be an important strategy in achieving greater environmental compatibility, along with plug-in hybrid, battery electric, and advanced gasoline and diesel propulsion.
The coordination of Green Car Awards™ announcements and joint exhibition of finalists is a significant new development between major auto shows on the auto show circuit. This milestone underscores the growing importance of “green” cars in the auto industry and how they are in turn creating synergies in complementary areas as well. Green Car Journal’s Green Car of the Year® has been a high-profile program at Los Angeles Auto Show’s press and trade days (now AutoMobility LA™) since 2005. Beginning in 2008, the Green Car Awards™ have been a key feature of The Washington Auto Show®, the “public policy show” on the auto show circuit that puts a priority on safety and sustainability. Award winners will be identified during a press conference on January 26 at The Washington Auto Show in Washington DC.
For the first time, Green Car Journal will announce finalists for the Washington Auto Show 2017 Green SUV of the Year™, Connected Green Car of the Year™, and Luxury Green Car of the Year™ awards at LA Auto Show’s AutoMobility LA, on November 17, 2016. Later in January, winners of the three awards will be presented in Washington D.C. at a press conference during the 2017 Washington Auto Show’s Policy/Media Day on January 26, 2017.
These awards recognize the best-of-the-best in three of the fastest-growing ‘green’ segments in the automotive field. Highlighting the full complement of finalists in Los Angeles and then announcing winners in Washington D.C. is ideally aligned. California is one of the most important ‘green’ car markets in the world while Washington DC is the epicenter of policies guiding vehicles to a more efficient and environmentally-positive future,
The coordination of Green Car Awards announcements and joint exhibition of finalists is a significant new development between major auto shows on the auto show circuit. This milestone underscores the growing importance of ‘green’ cars in the auto industry and how they are in turn creating synergies in complementary areas as well. Green Car Journal’s Green Car of the Year® has been a high-profile program at Los Angeles Auto Show’s press and trade days since 2005. Beginning in 2008, the Green Car Awards™ have been a key feature of The Washington Auto Show, the ‘public policy show’ on the auto show circuit that puts a priority on safety and sustainability.
Produced by the Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association (WANADA), The Washington Auto Show is the largest public event in DC. As part of the show’s Policy Days, on January 24-25 the Washington Auto Show will present MobilityTalks International, a global discussion on the future of mobility regulation, harmonization, and smart cities. This will be followed by a Capitol Hill event, Ride and Drive with advanced technology vehicles at RFK Stadium, and Media Day at the Washington Convention Center on January 26. Public days at the show are from January 27 to February 5.
Green Car Journal has announced finalists for the magazine’s high-profile 2017 Green Truck of the Year™ and Commercial Green Car of the Year™ awards that will be presented at the San Antonio Auto & Truck Show in San Antonio, Texas. These important awards honor pickups and light commercial vehicles that raise the bar in environmental performance in a variety of areas including efficiency, emissions reduction, and overall environmental improvement.
Both light- and heavy-duty models made the cut this year to become finalists for 2017 Green Truck of the Year™ including the Chevrolet Colorado, Ford F-250 Super Duty, GMC Canyon, Honda Ridgeline, and RAM 1500.
The 2017 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon mid-size pickups feature a new and efficient V-6 for 2017 to round out powertrain choices including an inline-four and high-mpg turbodiesel. The RAM 1500 continues to impress with its functionality and myriad options including an EcoDiesel motor achieving the highest mpg in its class. Honda’s all-new Ridgeline exemplifies Honda’s approach to efficiency and technology with a handsome and driver-friendly new pickup design and plenty of tech. Ford sets itself apart from the crowd yet again by continuing its integration of lightweight aluminum construction for the body and cab of its F-250 Super Duty pickup.
Finalists for 2017 Commercial Green Car of the Year™ include both smaller and more efficient vans including the Ford Transit Connect, Mercedes-Benz Metris, and RAM ProMaster City, plus heavy-duty pickups including the Ford F-250 Super Duty and Nissan Titan XD. The Ford Transit Connect, RAM ProMaster City, and Mercedes-Benz Metris deliver an efficient and highly-functional answer to the needs of businesses with higher fuel economy and easy urban maneuverability. Ford’s F-250 Super Duty brings greater efficiency to the heavy-duty pickup market with lighter weight achieved with an aluminum body and pickup box, while Nissan’s Titan XD delivers efficiency with its turbodiesel powerplant and design that aims to provide a light-duty pickup driving experience in a heavy-duty truck.
These Green Car Awards recognize pickups and light commercial vehicles that do the heavy lifting in everyday life while leading the way toward greater environmental compatibility. Importantly, award finalists achieve this without sacrificing the core capabilities expected from these highly-functional vehicles. It’s notable that after years of environmental focus on passenger vehicles, pickups and light commercial vehicles are now enjoying a similar focus on environmental improvement.
The San Antonio Auto & Truck Show, recognized as South Texas' premier automotive event that highlights the auto industry's newest innovations, will host Green Car Journal’s announcement of 2017 Green Truck of the Year and 2017 Commercial Green Car of the Year winners on November 10.
The Los Angeles Auto Show is the setting for Green Car Journal’s highly-anticipated Green Car of the Year® award each year, as it has been since its first appearance in car-centric Southern California 11 years ago. This year, following a video intro by celebrity juror Jay Leno and with all five award finalist vehicles flanking the stage, Green Car Journal revealed this year’s winner – the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Volt.
Chevrolet’s Volt was a milestone vehicle when it debuted in the 2011 model year and then drove away with 2011 Green Car of the Year® honors. In its new generation, it’s clear that Chevrolet listened to its customers – and in particular Volt owners – and implemented improvements across the board to make the 2016 Volt faster, more stylish, and more capable than ever.
Among its important functionality achievements is the expansion from four- to five-passenger seating and a zero-emission battery driving range of up to 53 miles. It’s also packed with advanced electronics including Apple CarPlay, 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity through OnStar, and desired driver assist systems. The Volt offers an entry point of $33,170 with federal and state incentives available.
Called by GM an extended range electric vehicle – technically a series hybrid configuration – the Volt’s gasoline engine powers a generator that both charges the battery and provides electric energy to the motors once the car’s batteries are depleted. Total driving range is 420 miles, 40 miles farther than the previous generation. The new Volt is rated at a combined city/highway 102 MPGe while driving on battery power and a combined 42 mpg in the extended range mode while the engine-generator is operating.
The Volt uses two electric motors but they are now closer in size and share the load more evenly than the Volt’s previous large-and-small motor combination. A new 1.5-liter, four-cylinder DOHC direct-injection engine is used to generate electricity. The lighter aluminum-block engine produces 101 horsepower versus the 84 horsepower of its iron-block predecessor. Even though the new engine has a higher 12.5:1 compression ratio, it runs on less expensive regular fuel rather than the premium fuel required in the original Volt.
The number of lithium-ion cells in the Volt’s T-shaped battery pack has decreased from 288 to 192. However, improved chemistry means battery capacity increases from 17.1 to 18.4 kilowatt-hours even as pack weight drops by 31 pounds. In all, the 2016 Volt is about 200 pounds lighter than the earlier generation.
As noted by this year’s finalists, there is no single path to achieving important environmental achievement. Along with the Volt, three other nominees feature electrification but in somewhat different forms. The Audi A3 e-tron champions plug-in hybrid power, as does the Hyundai Sonata with its plug-in hybrid, hybrid, and conventionally-powered variants. The Toyota Prius continues its efficiency leadership as an all-new generation hybrid hatchback. Honda’s new generation Civic illustrates that impressive efficiency can be achieved with advanced internal combustion power.
Green Car Journal’s Green Car of the Year® is selected by a jury comprised of environmental and efficiency leaders including Jean-Michel Cousteau, president of Ocean Futures Society; Matt Petersen, board member of Global Green USA; Mindy Lubber, President of CERES; Kateri Callahan, President of the Alliance to Save Energy; and Dr. Alan Lloyd, chairman emeritus of the International Council on Clean Transportation. Rounding out the jury is comedian and car aficionado Jay Leno plus Green Car Journal editors.
The all-new Volt has clearly earned its distinction as 2016 Green Car of the Year®. Chevrolet has taken an efficient and award-winning sedan and made it better in virtually every way…a shining example of the environmental leadership the Green Car of the Year® award seeks to honor.