To Ron Cogan and the editors at Green Car Journal, To be “green” in the auto industry, a mass manufactured vehicle need only be improved from the outgoing model in fuel efficiency, reduced emissions, or, an innovative segment topping new model offering -- I.C, hybrid, or electrified. To qualify for Green Car of the Year award consideration, a car or light truck's engineering must be segment breaching innovative, and environmentally friendly. That's the condensed description of a grueling, year-long, preliminary contestant, elimination, and finalist selection, in what is arguably the auto world's original, and most coveted Green Car Award.
For Green Car of the Year consideration, the greater number of vehicles produced by a specific candidate, the better. In essence, -1 MPG x 100,000 units on the road has a greater impact on the environment in reduced exhaust born emissions, then a limited production offering. The winner in each category is determined through the majority vote of an expert panel consisting of auto celebrities, environmental scientist, auto industry insiders, and rounded out by Green Car Journal Editors.
This year, the San Antonio Truck and Auto Show in partnership with the award winning Green Car Journal Magazine hosted the 2018 Green Truck of the Year, 2018 Green Commercial Car of the Year, and the magazine’s first ever 2018 Green Performance Car of the Year.
A cowboy, a street racer, and a Cop walk into a bar
Fo 2018, Chevy Colorado earns 2018 Green Truck of the Year honors with help from a small displacement, high torque output, turbocharged Duramax diesel option. Chevy Colorado went up against Ford, GMC, Honda, and Toyota in the expanding midsize truck segment, and drove away with top honors. Sighting heavy truck duty construction, a near ½ ton truck payload and towing capacity, as well as an anticipated 30 MPG peak highway fuel efficiency, Green Car Journal awards Chevy Colorado 2018 Green Truck of the Year.
The most honored 2-seat roadster in history nails it
Mazda Miata, the best selling 2-place roadster of all time drives away with top honors in the first ever Performance Green Car of the Year award. For 2018, Mazda Miata returns as the affordable, commute-worthy, and relatively comfortable contender in a segment rife with high-dollar, mechanically finicky, high maintenance contenders.
Here's what Green Car says about Mazda Miata MX-5: Mazda's extensively-redesigned, fourth-generation MX-5 Miata offers a sporty and fun driving experience in roadster and new RF retractable fastback form. This lightweight two-seat sports car is powered by a 2.0-liter SKYACTIV engine with a 6-speed manual transmission or 6-speed Sport automatic, delivering 155 horsepower and achieving up to 35 highway mpg. Long a favorite of sports car enthusiasts, the Miata has also been popular in amateur spec racing. True enough!
How a hybrid police pursuit vehicle ends up with a Green Car designation
I dug in my heals and spoke with Green Car Journal founding editor and publisher Ron Cogan for a few minutes, on what most would conclude to be an unusual candidate for 2018 Green Commercial Vehicle of the Year. During our conversation with a bit coaxing from Ron, I came to the conclusion that a fuel efficient police unite would make a very measurable impact on reduced auto emissions through reduced fuel consumption. Here’s what Ron had to say about the Ford Police Responder Hybrid:
"As the first pursuit-rated hybrid police car, Ford's Police Responder Hybrid promises to bring significantly greater fuel efficiency and environmental performance to police department fleets across the nation. Based on the Ford Fusion Hybrid, the Police Responder Hybrid is expected to deliver 38 combined mpg and a few miles of 'stealth' driving on batteries. When parked, the battery pack allows the engine to shut off for brief periods while keeping the car's electronics running, saving fuel and decreasing emissions," says Ron.
A final thought or two
With several million public safety vehicles on the road in North America today, hybrid gasoline, electric technology is the logical path to reduced emissions, and fuel Independence. The Ford Police Responder, while a unique contender in a commercial vehicle segment historically dominated by heavy duty pickup trucks and delivery vans, falls perfectly into the high-production volume, low emissions, measurable environmental impact mantra that is Green Car Journal’s Green Car of the Year awards program.
Next up: The Los Angeles Auto Show where Honda's Clarity lineup, the all new Toyota Camry and other auto industry heavy hitters compete for 2018 Green Car of the Year. I'll see you there.