Chevrolet is one of the Top Global Green Brands of 2014, according to brand consultancy firm Interbrand. Chevy ranks number 32 on the list, which cover brands across a wide variety of segments. The report measures brand perception and brand performance, and the gap between the two is small for Chevrolet. "The company is not only actively demonstrating its environmental commitment," says Interbrand CEO Jez Frampton. "It's communicating those efforts in an authentic way that resonates with customers." Chevrolet cites its Spark EV, Volt and Cruze models as reason for its green cred.

This is the first time Toyota didn't take the top spot.

Being 32nd is good and all, but other automotive brands ranked much higher than the Bowtie. Ford, Toyota, Honda and Nissan took the top four spots in the report, respectively, with BMW, Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz all besting Chevrolet. The big takeaway here is that Ford topped the list. In the Top Global Green Brand list's four-year history, this is the first time Toyota didn't take the top spot. Ford was second on the list last year, and 15th in 2012. "Ford embodies everything the business of the future must be: efficient, visionary, flexible, adept at problem-solving, cooperative, and focused on creating shared value," Interbrand says on its website. "From unveiling a first-of-its-kind solar-powered vehicle, the C-MAX Solar Energi Concept, to partnering with peers across sectors to do the seemingly impossible - like creating bio-plastic out of tomato fiber with Heinz-Ford is showing us what's possible." It bears mentioning that Ford's most recent MPG adjustments came after the study was conducted.

Ford is also making the news for its 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine earning International Engine of the Year for the third straight year. Awarded Best Engine Under 1.0 Liter, the turbocharged three-cylinder motor earned high praise from judges. "This year's competition was the fiercest yet, but the 1.0-liter EcoBoost continues to stand out for all the right reasons – great refinement, surprising flexibility and excellent efficiency," said International Engine of the Year co-chairman Dean Slavnich. "The 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine is one of the finest examples of powertrain engineering." The 123-horsepower engine powers the Fiesta 1.0-liter EcoBoost, and will be available in a version of the Ford Focus in the US later this year. See more about the award in the press release, below.

The California Center for Sustainable Energy, which administers California's Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, has published the results of a survey of battery and plug-in EV customers since the third quarter of 2012. The interactive survey dashboard offers a lot of different information, which can be broken down by demographic, vehicle type, manufacturer and more. It also breaks down dealership experience, decision factors and information sources that went into buying or leasing an EV.

The biggest motivator for choosing EVs and plug-ins, according to the survey, was to save money on fuel, with 37 percent of respondents wanting to avoid paying at the pump. 21 percent of customers cite environmental factors as their primary motivator, while 15 percent saw HOV lane access as the biggest draw. 30 percent of customers were aged 45-54, with the second largest buying demographic being drivers aged 35-44. 44 percent of buyers made between $100,000 and $200,000 a year. There are numerous more ways to dissect the information. Check it out for yourself, here.
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Ford 1.0-Liter EcoBoost Engine Wins Unprecedented Third Consecutive International Engine of the Year Honors

Ford 1.0-liter EcoBoost® engine named 2014 International Engine of the Year for an unprecedented third consecutive year
Fuel-efficient and powerful 1.0-liter EcoBoost – available in Ford Fiesta and upcoming 2015 Focus – also named Best Engine Under 1.0-Liter for third year in a row
Judges call 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine "one of the finest examples of powertrain engineering" as it finishes ahead of entries from premium and supercar brands

Ford Motor Company's 1.0-liter EcoBoost® engine, which lowers fuel consumption without sacrificing power, was today named 2014 International Engine of the Year for an unprecedented third straight year.

The 1.0-liter EcoBoost – available for Ford Fiesta and slated as a power offering for the 2015 Focus as well – fought off competition from premium brands and supercar contenders to win the award for its driveability, performance, economy, refinement and technology.

A panel of 82 automotive journalists from 35 countries also named the engine Best Engine Under 1.0-Liter for the third year in a row at Engine Expo 2014 in Stuttgart, Germany.

"To deliver the complete package of eye-popping fuel economy, surprising performance and real refinement, we knew this little 1.0-liter engine would have to be a game changer," said Bob Fascetti, vice president, Ford Powertrain Engineering. "Through our One Ford approach to development, EcoBoost continues to set the benchmark for power combined with fuel efficiency from a gasoline engine."

The 1.0-liter EcoBoost has now won 13 major awards. In addition to collecting seven International Engine of the Year awards in three years – including Best New Engine in 2012 – the 1.0-liter EcoBoost also was awarded the International Paul Pietsch Award 2013 for technological innovation in Germany; the Dewar Trophy from Royal Automobile Club in Great Britain; and the Breakthrough Award from Popular Mechanics in the United States. Ford is the first automaker to win a Ward's 10 Best Engines trophy for a three-cylinder engine.

"This year's competition was the fiercest yet, but the 1.0-liter EcoBoost continues to stand out for all the right reasons – great refinement, surprising flexibility and excellent efficiency," said Dean Slavnich, co-chairman, 16th International Engine of the Year awards and editor, Engine Technology International magazine. "The 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine is one of the finest examples of powertrain engineering."

Global power

Ford vehicles equipped with the 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine are now available in 72 countries worldwide. Later this year, U.S. customers will be able to buy the new Focus 1.0-liter EcoBoost. The Fiesta 1.0-liter EcoBoost is in dealerships now.

More than 200 engineers and designers from Ford research and development centers in Aachen and Merkenich in Germany, and Dagenham and Dunton in the United Kingdom spent 5 million-plus hours developing the 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine.

The engine's compact, low-inertia turbocharger spins at up to 248,000 rpm – more than 4,000 times per second and almost twice the maximum rpm of the turbochargers powering 2014 Formula 1 race car engines.

With an engine block small enough to fit in the overhead luggage compartment of an airplane, the 1.0-liter features a cylinder head with an integrated and cooled exhaust manifold that lowers exhaust temperatures for optimizing the fuel-to-air ratio. An innovative flywheel and front pulley design delivers improved refinement compared with traditional three-cylinder engine designs.

Engine friction is reduced by specially coated pistons, low-tension piston rings, low-friction crank seals and a cam-belt-in-oil design. A variable-displacement oil pump tailors lubrication to demand and optimizes oil pressure for improved fuel efficiency.

"The 1.0-liter EcoBoost was created as a radical, smaller-displacement engine to meet the biggest automotive challenge in the world – no-compromise refinement, performance and great fuel economy," said Andrew Fraser, manager, Gasoline Calibration, Ford of Europe. "The secret to EcoBoost success is a range of innovative technologies that deliver big-car benefits from a small engine."

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