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Green Car Journal Finalists for Vision Award

A lot of automotive awards are criticized for honoring vehicles not yet available to the public. Green Car Journal gets around that with its Green Car Vision Award that honors a future vehicle coming to market. The five finalists have been announced.

This year’s award, as in years past, will be presented on Jan. 27, the second of two policy days at The Washington Auto Show, which TorqueNews plans to cover. Green Car Journal has selected five electric vehicles as finalists for the award, which guarantees an electric car will be the winner. The Nissan Leaf was the 2010 Green Car Vision Award winner.

Here are the nominees, as announced by the Washington Auto Show itself:

  • 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 rollout 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.