No, those goose bumps aren’t some allergic reaction to toxins in the air. This Friday, April 25 at the Green Living Show in Toronto, the 2014 Canadian Green Car Award will be announced.
To many, that prompts the question: what’s a green car? A bus made from garbage? Edible metal you pedal? Or some solar-powered, oversized humidor on wheels from the Discovery Channel that weighs thirty pounds and isn’t street legal?
In this case, no. The bestowers’ own words: a vehicle ‘with the greatest potential to minimize the overall impact of automobiles on our environment.’ Meaning? Fuel efficiency, renewable materials, plus usability and popularity all factor into the final decision.
There were nineteen judges (your author among them) rating 16 cars from 5 categories. Here are the cars with summaries of the shortlisters’ greenness.
Runners-up: Tesla Model S, Ford Focus EV, Kia Soul EV
Finalist: Nissan Leaf SV was early to the EV party. So it’s had time to improve (remember the popularity aspect). It’s made from 20% recycled materials.
Efficient Gasoline or Diesel Internal Combustion
Runners-up: Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel, Volkswagen Jetta TDI Clean Diesel
Finalist: Mazda3 (2.0L AT) can’t seem to put a carbon footprint wrong these days. Its drag coefficient is 0.255. Speaking of drag, it’s way cheaper than hybrids and diesels.
Runners-up: Cadillac ELR, Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid
Finalist: Ford C-Max Energi can do highway speeds strictly in electric mode. Its overall range is over 1,200km.
Runner-up: Infiniti Q50 Hybrid AWD
Finalist tied: Honda Accord Hybrid Touring boasts combined highway/city fuel economy of 3.8L/100km, low enough to compete with compacts.
Finalist tied: Volkswagen Jetta Turbo Hybrid is the only turbo hybrid you’ll find for the money.
Efficient Three-Row Vehicle (aka SUV or minivan)
Runners-up: Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid, Kia Rondo EX-Luxury
The finalist: Mazda5’s drag coefficient is 0.3. Speaking of drag, it’s earned NRCan’s ‘Most Fuel Efficient Minivan’ honour five times.
Thinking of attending the show on Friday? Consider walking, cycling or public transit.
Though a co-owner and former editor of DailyXY, Steven Bochenek is actually an advertising writer who does some journalism on the side. In 2011 he was accepted into the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada. His other interests include playing music, long-distance running, skiing and writing in the third person.
Photo courtesy of the author.