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On Monday, October 24, 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show and Green Car Journal announced its five finalists for the 2012 Green Car of the Year® award.

For the seventh consecutive year, the Green Car of the Year® 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 include the 2012 Ford Focus Electric2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas2012 Mitsubishi i2012 Toyota Prius v and2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI. The Green Car of the Year® award recognizes vehicles that become available by January 1 of the award year.

These five finalists are also 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.
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What is notable about this year’s field of outstanding nominees 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 U.S. The Volkswagen Passat TDI continues this automaker’s expansion of new clean diesel products that produce significantly lower emissions while achieving an impressively 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.

“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 editor of GreenCar.com. “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. These nominees deserve to be recognized for their unique approaches in providing consumers diverse choices as cars intelligently evolve toward a more environmentally-compatible motoring future.”

Narrowing the field to five nominees these days is no easy thing, according to Green Car Journal editors. Literally dozens of models are considered that feature improved environmental impact and increased efficiencies. Vehicles running on all fuels and technologies weigh in, including high-efficiency gasoline and diesel models along with ones that run on gaseous fuels, electricity and other alternative fuels. 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.

About Green Car of the Year:
The GCOY award is an important part of Green Car Journal’s mission to showcase environmental progress in the auto industry. Founded in 1992, Green Car Journal is considered the premier source of information on high fuel efficiency, low emission, advanced technology, and alternative fuel vehicles. Subscription information, along with a downloadable sample issue, can be found at GCJUSA.com. Green Car of the Year® is a registered trademark of Green Car Journal and RJ Cogan Specialty Publications Group, Inc.

About the L.A. Auto Show:
As the first major North American Auto Show of the season, the 2011 L.A. Auto Show will host approximately 50 World and North American debuts. Press Days, Nov. 16 and 17, will feature more than 25 press conferences from manufacturers around the globe.  For more information visit LAAutoShow.com.

Source: LA Auto Show
Photo credit to: LA Auto Show

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