Green Car of the Year Finalists Announced
The Los Angeles International Auto Show is around the corner, and with it, the start of the American auto show season. It's the first time that domestic journalists get to look at production and concept cars for the upcoming year. It is also a time to celebrate the greenest cars of the year. The LA Auto Show, in partnership with Green Car Journal, announced the finalists for the 2016 Green Car of the Year Award. It will be the eleventh presenting according to Green Car Journal editor and publisher Ron Cogan, “This is the strongest field of finalists we’ve seen in our annual Green Car of the Year program.” So here are the finalists: Audi A3 E-Tron
This car combines the sporty, practical A3 hatchback platform with the E-Tron plug-in hybrid powertrain. It features a lithium-ion battery pack and a 102-horsepower electric motor, combined with 1.4-liter inline-4 that makes 150 hp, while total system power is 204 hp and 258 pound feet of torque. It can travel up to 19 miles on all-electric power.
RELATED: See More of the 2016 Audi A3 E-Tron
This is the second generation of the Volt, and when Chevy introduced the first generation plug-in hybrid it comically boasted 230 mpg. It later had to walk back from that claim, but the new Volt improves in a lot of ways. It features a two-mode hybrid system that allows it to travel 53 miles on all-electric power.
RELATED: See More of the 2016 Chevrolet Volt
Green Car Journal is nominating the whole Sonata lineup, which includes both conventional and hybrid versions. The Sonata Hybrid boasts 43 MPG highway and the Plug-In Hybrid can travel 24 miles on electric power, before the full hybrid drivetrain kicks in.
RELATED: See More of the All-New Hyundai Sonata
RELATED: See more images of the 2016 Toyota Prius
The O.G. of the hybrid market, the Prius is completely resigned for 2016. The Prius continues to deliver a competent hybrid powertrain, with a plug-in variant, complemented by the boldest styling in the history of this iconic Toyota green car.
Unsurprisingly absent from the list is any mention of a clean diesel vehicle. In the wake of the Volkswagen #Dieselgate fiasco, where VW intentionally cheated on emissions tests, the German automaker was forced to give back its Green Car of the Year awards for the Jetta TDI and Audi A3 TDI. As U.S. and European regulators expand emissions testing to other makes and models, it seems prudent to hold off nominating any other diesels for the time being.
RELATED: Volkswagen Forced to Return Green Car of the Year Awards for Jetta TDI, A3 TDI