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Beats Out CNG, Hybrid And High-Efficiency Gas Finalists

The popular little BMW i3 (popular in the US, at least) was named the 2015 Green Car of the Year at the Los Angeles Auto Show today. The award doesn't just take into account a car's green credentials but also its "availability to the mass market." While the i3 is a bit expensive, starting at $41,350, it is becoming available at BMW dealers across the country, which cannot be said about a lot of other new plug-in vehicles released these past few years.

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Short List Includes Audi A3 TDI, BMW i3, Chevy Impala Bi-Fuel, Honda Fit, VW Golf

The 2015 edition of the Green Car of the Year award is following right in the footsteps of previous years with a variety of alt-fuel powertrains making the just-announced finalists list. You've got your plug-in vehicle (the BMW i3), your compressed natural gas (the Chevy Impala Bi-Fuel), your high-efficiency diesel (the Audi A3 TDI), your 40+ mile-per-gallon gas engine (the Honda Fit) and, finally, a car that can do a little bit of everything (the VW Golf).

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There was never a chance for a pure electric vehicle to win the 2014 Green Car of the Year – that's because the editors of didn't nominate one. Out of the five-car list of finalists, the many variants of the Honda Accord drove away with the win at the LA Auto Show.

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The list of finalists for the 2014 Green Car of the Year has been announced, and in a genuinely bizarre twist, there's only one hybrid and no electric vehicles among the five contestants, despite the arrival of cars like the BMW i3 and Tesla Model S. Taking the place of the EVs are a pair of diesels, repping a technology that last won a Green Car of the Year award in 2009, when the Audi A3 TDI took the title. No diesel was in the running for last year's award.

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After three years that saw a diesel, a plug-in and a natural gas vehicle win Green Car Journal's Green Car of the Year award, the Ford Fusion won the title this year at the start of the second day of the LA Auto Show. The Fusion was nominated in part because it has a variety of powertrain options: hybrid, plug-in hybrid and an EcoBoost gas engine.

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Ladies and Gentlemen, your finalists for the 2013 Green Car of the Year: the Dodge Dart Aero, Ford C-Max and Fusion, Mazda CX-5 and Toyota Prius C. The list runs the gamut of fuel-efficient powertrains, from hybrids and plug-ins to high-mileage gas burners. The Fords, for example, make the list in part because they come in both hybrids and plug-in hybrid flavors.

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The 2012 Green Car of the Year award was snagged from the electric and diesel jaws of its competitors by the Honda Civic Natural Gas. In a year full of standard gasoline powertrain alternatives, the Civic beat out the Ford Focus Electric, Mitsubishi i, Toyota Prius V and the Volkswagen Passat TDI.

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The 2012 Green Car of the Year award was snagged from the electric and diesel jaws of its competitors by the Honda Civic Natural Gas. In a year full of standard gasoline powertrain alternatives, the Civic beat out the Ford Focus Electric, Mitsubishi i, Toyota Prius V and the Volkswagen Passat TDI.

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The Vauxhall Ampera, a vehicle that General Motors describes as Europe's only "zero range anxiety" electric, has been named the Green Car of the Year 2011 by What Car?, one of the UK's leading consumer-focused motoring magazine.

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Joel Ewanick, VP, U.S. Marketing for General Motors, and the Chevy Volt with the Green Car of the Year Award

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Joel Ewanick, VP, U.S. Marketing for General Motors, and the Chevy Volt with the Green Car of the Year Award

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2010 Audi A3 TDI – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Green Car of the Year finalists – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Green Car of the Year finalists – Click above for high-res image gallery

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2010 Audi A3 TDI – Click above for high-res image gallery

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2011 Scion iQ – Click above for high-res image gallery

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