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.
The other finalists this year were the CNG-powered Chevy Impala Bi-Fuel, the Audi A3 TDI, the Honda Fit and the VW Golf. The BMW i3 with range extender gets a fuel economy rating of 117 MPGe and 39 miles per gallon (in gas mode) with a 72-mile EV range. The EV-only version gets 124 MPGe combined (137 in the city and 111 on the highway) and has an EV range of 81 miles.
Green Car Journal has handed out the award every year for ten years now, naming the Honda Accord Hybrid/Plug-In Hybrid the winner last year, the Ford Fusion models (plug-in hybrid and hybrid) in 2013, the Honda Civic Natural Gas in 2012 and the Chevrolet Volt in 2011.
BMW i3 NAMED GREEN CAR JOURNAL’S 2015 GREEN CAR OF THE YEAR”
Milestone Carbon Fiber Electric Car Wins the Auto Industry’s Most Important Environmental Award at Los Angeles Auto Show
LOS ANGELES, CA (November 20, 2014) – BMW’s i3, an innovative electric car built with a lightweight carbon fiber passenger cell and an aluminum drive module, has been named Green Car Journal’s 2015 Green Car of the Year®, which was announced at the LA Auto Show. Green Car of the Year® finalists also included the Audi A3 TDI, Chevrolet Impala Bi-Fuel, Honda Fit, and VW Golf.
The Green Car of the Year® award is an honor widely recognized as the auto industry’s most important environmental accolade. Green Car Journal, the leading voice in the intersection of automobiles, energy, and the environment since the publication’s launch in 1992, celebrates the high-profile award’s 10th anniversary at the L.A. Auto Show this year.
“BMW’s i3 is a milestone vehicle in many respects and illustrates the automaker’s expansive vision of future motoring,” said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal and CarsOfChange.com. “It is purposefully designed with a small environmental footprint and zero emissions, offering the best features of an electric vehicle with the functionality of an available on board engine-generator that nearly doubles its battery electric range.”
The first all-electric vehicle to win Green Car Journal’s Green Car of the Year®, the i3 benefits from BMW’s years-long ‘project i’ initiative that focuses on future mobility and strategies for sustainable transportation. The result is a unique approach that finds the i3 embracing technologies, materials, and construction methods breaking new ground for a mainstream model. While the i3 is designed as a battery electric car, its optional REx gasoline engine-generator enables extended driving range with electricity created on board easing potential range anxiety.
“Unlike other manufacturers that build vehicles and then create advanced powertrains to go in them, BMW rethought the whole process of building a car from the ground-up, using new materials and techniques,” said noted TV personality and avid car collector Jay Leno, pointing out one of many strengths the i3 had going into the competition. Leno has been one of Green Car Journal’s Green Car of the Year® jurors since the award program launched in 2005.
Along with Leno, the Green Car of the Year® jury includes leaders of noted environmental and efficiency organizations including Jean-Michel Cousteau, president of Ocean Futures Society; Matt Petersen, board member of Global Green USA; Mindy Lubber, President of CERES; Kateri Callahan, President of the Alliance to Save Energy, and Dr. Alan Lloyd, President Emeritus of the International Council on Clean Transportation and former CalEPA Secretary and Chairman of the California Air Resources Board. The jury is rounded out by a smaller number of Green Car Journal editors.
The magazine’s extensive vetting process considers all vehicles, fuels, and technologies as the field of nominees is narrowed down to five finalists that significantly raise the bar in environmental performance. Vehicles that are all-new, or in the early stages of their model lifecycle, are considered and finalists must be on sale by January 1 of the award year. Availability and market significance are factors to ensure that models have the potential to make a real impact on improving air quality, reducing greenhouse gases, and promoting transportation efficiency.
As finalists for 2015 Green Car of the Year®, the Audi A3 TDI, BMW i3, Chevrolet Impala Bi-Fuel, Honda Fit, and Volkswagen Golf are additionally honored with Green Car Journal’s 2015 Green Car Product of Excellence™.
About Green Car of the Year®
The GCOY award is an important part of Green Car Journal’s mission to showcase environmental progress in the auto industry. Since 1992, Green Car Journal has focused on the intersection of automobiles, energy, and environment. Today, the magazine is considered the premier source of information on high fuel efficiency, low emission, advanced technology, and alternative fuel vehicles. CarsOfChange.com presents ‘green car’ articles online along with a focus on infotainment and connectivity. Green Car of the Year® is a registered trademark of Green Car Journal and RJ Cogan Specialty Publications Group, Inc.
About the Los Angeles Auto Show and Connected Car Expo
The Los Angeles Auto Show was founded in 1907, and is the first major North American auto show of the season each year. Press and Trade show days for the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show will be held on Nov. 18-20. The show will be open to the public Nov. 21 – Nov. 30. The Connected Car Expo (CCE) is the automotive industry’s most authoritative showcase of new mobility solutions and will take place on November 18, and continue in conjunction with the 2014 LA Auto Show® Press & Trade Days. The LA Auto Show is endorsed by the Greater L.A. New Car Dealer Association and is operated by ANSA Productions. To receive the latest show news and information, follow the Los Angeles Auto Show on Twitter at twitter.com/LAAutoShow or via Facebook at facebook.com/LosAngelesAutoShow and sign up for alerts at www.LAAutoShow.com. For more information on CCE please visit http://connectedcarexpo.com/