2011 Green Car Vision Award finalists include five pure electric cars

The 2010 Green Car Vision Award winner, the Nissan Leaf – Click above for high-res image gallery

The Washington Auto Show is known for its focus on policy, but it is also the site of the annual Green Car Vision Awards, the future counterpoint to Green Car Journal's Green Car Vision Award. The 2011 finalists were announced today, and the list includes:
One thing to note is that all five of this year's finalists are pure electric vehicles. EVs have been on the list before – the Focus BEV makes a second appearance on the finalists list and the Mitsubishi i was previously represented by the i-MiEV in 2009 – but they've always shared the list with fuel cell or vehicles with a partial gas powertrain (i.e., the Chevy Volt). This year, only the Volvo C30 DRIVe burns any sort of liquid fuel, and that's just for heat. This list is a good representation of where the auto industry is in 2011 and, well, the future.

You can see all of the 2010 finalists here (the Nissan Leaf won) and the 2009 finalists here (the Volt won). The 2011 winner will be announced on January 27.

[Source: Green Car Journal]


Green Car Journal Announces 2011 Green Car Vision Award Finalists

One of Five Battery Electric Cars to the Crowned at Washington Auto Show

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, electric drive represents the technology of choice for many automakers' future advanced technology vehicle programs, a fact that will surely be evident at the 2011 Washington Auto Show. Here, one of five battery electric contenders - from Ford, Honda, Mitsubishi, Toyota, and Volvo - will be named Green Car Journal's 2011 Green Car Vision Award™ winner during the show's second Policy Day on Thursday, January 27, 2011 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

"These five battery electric finalists represent a strong and growing trend toward electrification that's emerged with automakers from Europe, Asia, and the United States," says Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal and editor of GreenCar.com. "While advanced internal combustion vehicles running on conventional fuels are likely to represent the majority of vehicles sold for years to come, many advanced development programs are strongly aiming at electric drive to help meet increasingly tough emissions and fuel efficiency goals."

Green Car Journal's Green Car Vision Award™ acknowledges a vehicle that best envisions the road ahead. Finalists must either be in demonstration programs or in their early phases of commercialization for the U.S. market, but not yet on sale. This forward-looking award is designed to complement the magazine's Green Car of the Year® program, which by design focuses on production vehicles that significantly raise the bar in environmental performance and are readily available to consumers today.

Ford's Focus BEV, which is based on the automaker's all-new 2012 Focus model, will be introduced in the U.S. sometime in 2011. The automaker is leveraging global platforms like the Focus and collaborating with key powertrain suppliers like Magna International as part of its global electrification strategy.

The Honda Fit EV concept shares the direction and styling of the upcoming production Fit EV that will be coming to U.S. shores in 2012. The five-passenger electric will be powered by lithium-ion batteries and feature Econ, Normal, and Sport modes to maximize efficiency or improve acceleration.

Mitsubishi will produce the newly-named Mitsubishi i electric vehicle, a battery powered iteration of the automaker's popular 'i' minicar sold in Japan. Retooled and larger for U.S. tastes, this lithium-ion powered car will be sold in four Western states starting in November 2011 with a national roll-out to follow.

Toyota's second generation RAV4 EV will begin a demonstration program in 2011 with plans for market arrival of a fully-engineered vehicle in 2012. The automaker has partnered with Tesla to fast-track development, with Tesla providing the lithium metal oxide battery and related components and Toyota handling the rest.

The Volvo C30 DRIVe is an electric variant of this automaker's small sport hatchback that's powered by lithium-ion batteries from Indiana-based ENER1. A small test fleet is currently operating in Sweden with a larger demonstration of DRIVe electrics planned for Europe, China, and the U.S. in 2011.

To register, go to www.regisys.com/AUTO11m, the password is case-sensitive: Energy11.

The award-winning Green Car Journal has focused on the intersection of automobiles, energy, and environment since its launch in 1992. As part of its mission, the magazine hosts events, produces ride-and-drives of advanced and clean fuel vehicles, and conducts various outreach efforts to educate consumers on better and more environmentally positive vehicle choices.

The 2011 Washington Auto Show opens to the public from Jan. 28-Feb. 6 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and is produced by the Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association (WANADA). This 69th edition of the show will present more than 700 vehicles from over 42 domestic and import manufacturers and a special 65,000-square foot exhibit, "The Advanced Technology SuperHighway," of the latest innovations in safety and sustainability. For more information visit the Washington Auto Show online at www.washingtonautoshow.com

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