The five finalists for the Green Car of the Year Award, sponsored by Green Car Journal, are in and they are all hybrids. The nominees were selected for their "newness" and must "forward environmental performance in meaningful and quantifiable ways."
The five finalists are the 2008:
- Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid,
- Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid,
- Mazda Tribute Hybrid,
- Nissan Altima Hybrid, and
- Saturn Aura Hybrid.
"There has been significant movement in the auto industry toward making mainstream models 'greener' in recent years, with notable milestones in fuel efficiency and low emissions," says Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of the Green Car Journal. "This is especially evident with hybrids, where gasoline-electric hybrid technology is being applied to popular models in the most important vehicle classes where consumers are shopping."
"The fact that all five Green Car of the Year® nominees are hybrids this year is a clear indication that the auto industry's significant investment of time and resources into gasoline-electric hybrid technology is paying off," explains Cogan. "Hybrids were not a specific focus during our nomination process. There are many pathways to achieving efficiency and emissions goals, and hybrids, while popular, represent just one of these."
To be considered, each vehicle had to feature fuel efficiency gains and offer extremely low emissions. Otherwise, the nominees were also firsts for one reason or another. The Chevy Tahoe will be the first to production with the dual-mode hybrid system developed by BMW, GM and DaimlerChrysler. The Mazda Tribute and Nissan Altima are the first hybrid for Mazda and Nissan respectively. (It should be noted the Tribute is just a copy of the Ford Escape/Mercury Mariner and the Altima uses the Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive.) The Chevy Malibu and Saturn Aura Hybrids are the newest affordable hybrid sedans.