Green Car of the Year logoGreen Car of the Year Award

AutoMobility LA (the event formerly known as the LA Auto Show) kicks off auto show season here in the U.S. It also marks the beginning of the annual round of various and sundry automotive awards. In the case of LA, it would be Green Car Journal's (GCJ) Green Car of the Year award, a relative newcomer, which is bestowed during the final day of press conferences at the show.

This award was, in fact, established only 12 years ago. Past recipient vehicles include the Mercury Mariner Hybrid in 2006, the Toyota Camry Hybrid in 2007, the Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid in 2008, the Volkswagen Jetta TDI in 2009 (rescinded by GCJ and returned by VW in 2015), the Audi A3 TDI in 2010 (also rescinded by GCJ and returned by Audi in 2015), the Chevrolet Volt in 2011, the Honda Civic CNG in 2012, the Ford Fusion in 2013, the Honda Accord in 2014, and the BMW i3 in 2015, while the second-generation Chevy Volt came away with the honor for 2016 followed by the brand's all-electric Bolt for 2017.

2018 Honda Clarity

Picking a Green Car of the Year

Leading up to the announcement of finalists, GCJ's editors consider all vehicles, fuels and technologies. The vehicles on the final's list are selected "for their achievements in raising the bar in environmental performance."

The winner is determined by a majority vote of a jury comprised of automotive and environmental experts. Current jurors include both automotive as well as eco-conscious luminaries such as Jean-Michel Cousteau, president of Ocean Futures Society; Matt Petersen, board member of Global Green USA; Dr. Alan Lloyd, President Emeritus of the International Council on Clean Transportation; Mindy Lubber, President of CERES; and Kateri Callahan, President of the Alliance to Save Energy. Also part of the jury were noted auto enthusiast Jay Leno and Green Car Journal editors.

2018 Honda Clarity

2018 Green Car of the Year

Earlier today, the 2018 Honda Clarity was named the "2018 Green Car of the Year" by Green Car Journal.

"It is a nod in the right direction to receive the 2018 Green Car of the Year award for the Clarity family of vehicles," said Steven Center, vice president of connected and environmental business at American Honda. "The Clarity Fuel Cell, Clarity Electric and Clarity Plug-in Hybrid offer the power of choice to consumers who want to step into the electrification game without being compromised. We are proud to deliver on that promise to offer these three advanced powertrains you can only find from Honda in a roomy five-passenger sedan with all the creature comforts that consumers expect today."

2018 Honda Clarity

2018 Honda Clarity

Reasons that led jurors to selecting the Clarity as the 2018 Green Car of the Year included the fact that "it is the first to offer an electric model, a plug-in hybrid model or hydrogen fuel cell power model based on the same platform, creating a 'family' of vehicles to fit current and future needs. In addition to this technological feat, the Clarity offers a spacious and quiet interior and advanced driver assist technology such as Honda Sensing."

"Over our 25 years of exclusive focus on the 'green' car field, Green Car Journal editors have learned that what's assumed today may be quite different than what emerges in the market during the years ahead," said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal and "Today, electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen vehicles are all being explored as options. To its credit, Honda has now accomplished what no other automaker has – offering all three of these 'green' powertrains in a single model, with the capability of readily shifting production from one to another to meet future demand."

Finalists for the award must be available for sale by January 1st of the award year. Factors that are considered during the judging process include " efficiency, performance characteristics, 'newness,' affordability and overall environmental achievement" as well as "availability to the mass market."

2018 Honda Clarity