Tesla's Model S, the BMW i3, the Cadillac ELR, the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell and the Ford C-MAX Energi are the finalists for Green Car Journal's 2012 Green Car Vision awards. The winner of the award, which is given to the most innovative "green vehicle" that's either in its demonstration phase or nearing its public launch, will be named at the Washington Auto Show on January 26.
Of the finalists, two – the Tesla and the BMW – are pure battery electric vehicles that are scheduled to be available for the 2013 and 2014 model years, respectively. The C-MAX is a plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle slated for the 2013 model year, while the Cadillac – expected as a 2014 model year – uses an extended-range plug-in hybrid powertrain similar to that of the Chevrolet Volt. The F-Cell hydrogen fuel-cell electric, which has been available in limited numbers for lease in Southern California, is slated for a 2014 model year debut.
"It's no surprise that electric drive continues to dominate the thoughts of automakers as they look to the future," writes Green Car Journal, which hands out the award. "While all five finalists integrate electric drive, they power their motors in distinctly different ways."