Bobit Business Media, publisher of Automotive Fleet and Green Fleet magazines, awarded its inaugural Green Fleet Car and Green Fleet Truck of the Year awards to the Ford Fusion Energi and Toyota Highlander Hybrid during a ceremony November 20 at the L.A. Auto Show.
The awards recognize the most environmentally-friendly cars and trucks for fleet use and emphasize the auto industry’s expanding efforts to offer new vehicles with higher fuel efficiencies and a smaller environmental impact.
The Green Fleet Car of the Year winner, the Ford Fusion Energi Plug-In Hybrid, has a lithium-ion battery and an electric motor with a gasoline engine. The car also features a next-generation SmartGauge with EcoGuide, providing real-time information to help users drive more efficiently. The Ford Fusion Energi is also equipped with regenerative breaking, a standard feature that captures 90 percent of the kinetic energy and uses it to recharge the lithium-ion battery.
The award was accepted on behalf of Ford by Jim Michon, Commercial Business Manager for Ford Motor Company. “We're very pleased the Fusion Energi Plug-In Hybrid is being recognized with this award,” Michon said. “The Fusion Energi Plug-In Hybrid offers fleet customers the option to drive a hybrid without sacrificing comfort and convenience.”
The two runner-ups for Green Fleet Car of the Year were the Nissan LEAF and the Honda Civic Natural Gas.
The Green Fleet Truck of the Year winner, the all-new Toyota Highlander Hybrid SUV, can accommodate up to seven passengers while providing a seamless gas-to-electric driving experience. It also includes features such as electronic on-demand 4-Wheel Drive, Hybrid Synergy Drive, and 280-hybrid system net horsepower.
The award was accepted on behalf of Toyota by Mark Oldenburg, Toyota national fleet marketing, mobility and strategic planning manager. “Toyota is honored to have the Highlander Hybrid recognized as the Green Fleet Truck of the Year”, Oldenburg said. “Highlander Hybrid receives an EPA combined mileage rating of 28 mpg - which is best-in-class for a three-row SUV - and all of the environmental benefits a hybrid provides for eco-minded families. Expanding hybrid technology to established models like the Highlander has allowed consumers and fleet managers to become more environmentally conscious in addition to saving money at the pump.”
The runner-ups for Green Fleet Truck of the Year were the Ram 1500 Eco Diesel and Ford Transit T150 Wagon FFV.
All fleet model nominees for the Green Fleet Car and Truck of the Year awards were self-nominated by each OEM, and are the models recommended to corporate fleet customers to help them meet corporate sustainability goals in fleet applications. All of the major OEMs submitted at least two models for consideration.
“This year we had a record number of Green cars and trucks to choose from, but ultimately we chose the two models that were the most innovative, environmentally friendly and offered the best value for your investment,” said Mike Antich, editor of Automotive Fleet Magazine. “The Ford Fusion Energi’s unique rechargeable battery and the Toyota Highlander Hybrid’s outstanding fuel efficiency are what led us to crown these two models as this year’s Green Fleet car and truck winners.”
The finalists for the Green Fleet Car and Truck of the Year were chosen through online voting by readers of Green Fleet, Automotive Fleet, Work Truck, and Business Fleet magazines. Winners were selected based on a strategic evaluation of performance and contributions to the environment, as well as a numerical score that was calculated based on fuel economy, petroleum displacement, EPA air pollution score, EPA greenhouse gas emissions, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Association ratings, and passenger capacity for cars and payload capacity for trucks.
To develop the award criteria and identify the finalists, Bobit Business Media collaborated with, and received technical assistance from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Argonne National Laboratory, which support the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Clean Cities program.