Compressed natural gas (CNG), propane autogas, electric, range-extenders, hybrids, flex-fuel, diesel, and partial zero emissions vehicles (PZEV) are part of a growing menu of alternative-fuel options available for MY-2013. In fact, it could be argued that today’s automotive market has never been greener.

The following vehicle snapshots are a compilation of all-new alternative-fuel models for MY-2013 available as of press time. They show that there is probably a green vehicle or alternative-fuel type to fit just about any fleet function.

In addition to the vehicles highlighted here, the automakers are carrying over many of their already-introduced alternative-fuel models.

Compressed Natural Gas
CNG continues to make its mark in the light- to medium-duty market. To give fleets added flexibility and extend vehicle range beyond limited CNG fueling infrastructures, the new MY-2013 models also feature bi-fuel options.

New for MY-2013 is a bi-fuel CNG fuel system and bi-fuel-compatible version of the 6.0L V-8 engine for the Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD and GMC Sierra 2500HD Extended Cab models. Fleets can choose from standard and long boxes, as well as two-wheel and four-wheel-drive models. The bi-fuel engine features hardened valves and valve seats that enable the trucks to switch between gasoline and CNG with a press of a button.

The Chevrolet Express Cargo and GMC Savana Cargo vans are available with a dedicated CNG package. Both are currently available in the regular wheelbase 2500 and 3500 models with three- and four-tank configurations. Extended wheelbase versions will be added late this calendar year.

Ford Motor Company’s Transit Connect will continue to offer a CNG engine prep package for conversion to CNG on the MY-2013 model. In addition to continuing to offer a CNG engine prep package on its F-series pickups (excluding the F-150) and E-series vans (excluding the E-150), the automaker will also be offering a CNG prep package on its all-new 2013 F-650 V-10.

Propane Autogas
Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), also known as propane autogas, is the third most common fuel type in the world. For MY-2013, the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana Cutaway vans are available with an LPG package on the 4500 159-inch wheelbase models.

In addition to the F-series (excluding the F-150) and E-series (excluding the E-150), the Ford Transit Connect delivery van will also continue to offer an engine prep package for propane-autogas conversions through ROUSH CleanTech for the new MY-2013 model.


Arguably the most popular of alternative-powertrain options, every year more automakers are either expanding or entering the hybrid market with either gasoline- or diesel-electric models.

The MY-2013 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid’s propulsion comes from General Motors’ patented two-mode hybrid system and a 6.0L gasoline V-8, which combine to deliver all-electric driving up to 30 mph. The full-size pickup is expected to deliver 33-percent greater city fuel economy and a 23.5-percent improvement in overall fuel economy, according to the company. The EPA-estimated fuel economy for both 2WD and 4WD models is 20 mpg city, 23 mpg highway, and 21 mpg combined. A hybrid version is also available for the GMC Sierra 1500 models for 2013. As with the Silverado 1500 Hybrid, the Sierra 1500 Hybrid will also achieve 20 mpg city/23 mpg highway.

Ford Motor Company’s all-new C-MAX Hybrid has been EPA-certified at 47 mpg across the board — 47 mpg city, 47 mpg highway, and 47 mpg combined. According to Ford, the C-MAX Hybrid has a range of 570 miles.

It will offer a top speed of 62 mph in EV mode and 188 net hp. When powered by gasoline, C-MAX Hybrid uses the all-new 2.0L Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine.

The MY-2013 Ford C-MAX Energi will feature a 2.0L DOHC inline four-cylinder Atkinson-cyle engine and a permanent magnet AC synchronous motor.

The C-MAX Energi will have a 500-mile overall driving range, according to the automaker.

The MY-2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid features all-new lithium-ion batteries that save weight and generate more power than previous nickel-metal hydride batteries, while raising maximum speed under electric-only power from 47 mph to 62 mph, according to the company. 

The Fusion Hybrid also features an all-new, 2.0L Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder gasoline engine, downsized from the previous 2.5L unit while maintaining performance standards, according to the company. The powertrain is anticipated to deliver fuel economy of 47 mpg city/44 mpg highway. 

According to Ford, the Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid is anticipated to deliver more than 100 MPGe.

With MY-2013, the Lexus ES will be available with Lexus Hybrid Drive. Featuring a 2.5L four-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine, the ES 300h is expected to earn EPA fuel economy ratings of approximately 40 mpg city/39 mpg highway/40 mpg combined. The ES 300h generates 200 hp.

The MY-2013 Lexus RX 450h features the signature Lexus spindle grille, an upgraded interior, and EPA fuel economy estimates of 30 mpg combined for front-wheel-drive models and 29 mpg combined for all-wheel-drive versions. A full hybrid, the RX 450h can operate in EV and regular (i.e., combined gasoline and electric modes). The hybrid powertrain is complemented by EV, Eco, and Normal driver-selectable modes, plus a new Sport mode which helps fully exploit powertrain capabilities, according to the automaker.

Hino will introduce its Class 5 COE model this fall, available as either a diesel-electric hybrid or diesel. The model will feature 210 hp and 440 lb.-ft. of torque from Hino’s 5.0L J05E Series engine, utilizing Aisin’s A465, 6-speed automatic transmission. Both the diesel and hybrid diesel-electric meet or exceed EPA-2010 emissions regulations by utilizing an optimized SCR system, according to the company.

The 2013 model-year marks the introduction of the Audi Q5 hybrid, which utilizes lithium-ion batteries and the 2.0T four-cylinder engine drive, the standard quattro all-wheel drivetrain via an 8-speed automatic transmission. The 2.0T engine will also continue to be available as the entry to the Q5 model line.

The BMW ActiveHybrid 3 is equipped with a 3.0L 306 hp TwinPower Turbo six-cylinder inline engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and a 55 hp high-voltage lithium-ion battery electric motor Power from the two drive systems is transferred to the rear wheels by the hybrid-specific 8-speed automatic transmission.

MY-2013 will see the introduction of the BMW ActiveHybrid 5, which brings together a BMW TwinPower Turbo six-cylinder inline engine, an electric drive system, and an 8-speed automatic gearbox for the first time, according to BMW. The drive system generates combined output of 340 hp, allowing the car to be driven on electric power alone up to 37 mph, accelerating the BMW ActiveHybrid 5 from 0 to 62 mph in 5.9 seconds, cutting average fuel consumption to between 40 mpg and 44 mpg.

MY-2013 will also mark the second-generation BMW ActiveHybrid 7 with a new six-cylinder inline engine and significantly reduced emissions, according to the automaker.

The MY-2013 Mercedes-Benz S400 HYBRID features a mild-hybrid powertrain with a three-phase AC external rotor magneto that produces 20 hp and 118 lb.-ft. of torque. The S400 HYBRID is equipped with a 3.5L V-6 gasoline engine that produces 275 hp. Combined, the electric motor and gasoline engine deliver 295 hp and 284 lb.-ft. of torque.

The MY-2013 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid pairs a 3.0L 333 hp supercharged, direct-injection V-6 gasoline engine with a 47 hp electric motor.

Both systems are capable of running independently or together. When combined, they produce a total of 380 hp and 428 lb.-ft. of torque, thus offering drivers the power of a V-8 with better fuel economy than a V-6, according to the company. If hard acceleration isn’t called for, the Touareg Hybrid can cruise up to 30 mph on pure, zero-emission electric power.

The MY-2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid is the automaker’s first hybrid compact. It will offer an estimated combined fuel economy of 45 mpg.


Flex-fuel offers fleets the best of both worlds, a cleaner burning fuel option with the convenience of greater availability over other alternative-fuel choices.

The Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 models feature available E-85 capable V-8 engines and 2500HD and 3500 HD pickups feature a standard E-85 capable 6.0L gasoline V-8 or an optional 397 hp Duramax 6.6L turbodiesel V-8 that is B-20 biodiesel capable.

For MY-2013, Volvo offers models that can be ordered to accept E-85 biodiesel. The S60 features a four-cylinder DOHC engine that produces 180 hp. The E-85-fueled S80 features an inline four-cylinder turbo DOHC that also delivers 180 hp. The V60 and V70 also feature an inline four-cylinder turbo that delivers 180 hp. The C30’s ethanol/gasoline engine is a four-cylinder naturally aspirated DOHC, which produces 145 hp. E-85 is a mixture of 15-percent gasoline and 85-percent ethanol.

Chrysler has embraced flex-fuel as an alternative option on several of its vehicles for MY-2013.

The MY-2013 Ram 1500 will be equipped with two flex-fuel engine options, the 3.6L Flex-Fuel V-6 with 50-state emissions compliance and the 4.7L Flex-Fuel V-8. The 3.6L Flex-Fuel engine delivers 305 hp and the 4.7L delivers 310 hp.

The Chrysler 200 features a 283 hp 3.6L Pentastar Flex Fuel VVT V-6 standard on the Limited trim level and optional on the LX and Touring trims.

The 292 hp, 3.6L Pentastar with Flex-Fuel engine is standard on the MY-2013 Dodge Charger. An all-new 3.6L Pentastar FFV V-6 with Flex-Fuel capability is available on the MY-2013 Dodge Avenger. It is also available with a 2.4L four-cylinder partial zero emissions vehicle (PZEV) engine in California emissions states.

For fleets not ready to commit to an alternative fuel, there is another option, partial-zero-emissions-vehicles or PZEVs.

For MY-2013, the Chevrolet Cruze features an Ecotec 1.8L DOHC engine with variable valve timing (AT-PZEV enhanced emissions for California and Northeast states). Standard on LS models is the 138 hp Ecotec 1.8L four-cylinder with continuously variable valve timing that optimizes performance and fuel economy across the rpm band. The EPA-estimated fuel economy is 25 mpg city/36 mpg highway with manual transmission and 22 mpg city/35 mpg highway with the automatic.

New for the MY-2013 Chevrolet Sonic is the PZEV version of the standard Ecotec 1.8L. The naturally aspirated Ecotec 1.8L engine has many of the same features of the Ecotec 1.4L turbo, including a compact and durable four-cylinder engine designed for low maintenance, low emissions, and fuel efficiency of 29 mpg city/40 mpg highway, according to the automaker. It is rated at 138 hp along with 125 lb.-ft. of torque.

Under the hood, the MY-2013 Hyundai Elantra AT is powered by an all-new 1.8L Nu four-cylinder engine with 145 hp and 130 lb.-ft. of torque for Elantra PZEV model. The PZEV Elantra model is as clean as many hybrid electric vehicles, according the automaker. Outside of the so-called “green” states of California, Oregon, and the Northeast, the Elantra is available as an ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV).

The MY-2013 Hyundai Sonata GLS and Limited models are available as a PZEV. These models are equipped with a four-cylinder DOHC dual continuously variable valve timing engine that generates 190 hp and 179 lb.-ft. of torque.

The Hyundai Tucson GLS and Limited models feature the Theta II 2.4L DOHC inline four-cylinder engine. The Theta II is rated at 170 hp and 163 lb.-ft. of torque. In the green states, the 2013 Tucson GLS and Limited models are certified as PZEV. Tucson GLS and Limited boast an estimated 22 mpg city/32 mpg highway fuel economy rating with the 6-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC and FWD. With AWD, Tucson delivers an estimated 21 mpg city/28 mpg highway.

Volkswagen offers a number of PZEV models for 2013, including the Beetle 2.5L and 2.0L Turbo, Golf 2.5L, GTI 2.0L Turbo, Jetta 2.5L, GLI, Jetta SportWagen 2.5L, CC 2.0 Turbo, and Passat 2.5L. The 2.5L inline five-cylinder engine produces 170 hp. The 2.0L Turbo produces 200 hp.


Range-extending technology is another option that offers fleets the best of both worlds, a no-emission, green powertrain devoid of the range anxiety often part and parcel of an electric-power system.

For 2013, the Chevrolet Volt offers an e-AT-PZEV specification. PZEV is dedicated for vehicles sold in New York and California, earning the Volt a “green sticker” for single-occupancy HOV lane access. Volt also adds a “Hold” mode that allows owners to select when the Volt uses its gas generator. The heart of the Chevrolet Volt is its Voltec propulsion system, which combines pure electric drive and an efficient, range-extending engine, giving the Volt up to 382 total miles of range. Using only the energy stored in the battery, the Volt delivers an EPA-estimated 38 miles of fuel- and tailpipe emissions-free electric driving, depending on terrain, driving techniques, and temperature.

When the battery energy is depleted, the Volt seamlessly transitions to extended-range mode. Power is inverted from a 1.4L 84-hp gasoline-powered onboard engine to the electric drive unit to provide up to 344 additional miles of range.

VIA’s MY-2013 extended-range electric vehicle lineup includes the VTRUX Standard, Extended-Cab, and Crew Cab trucks; VTRUX Suburban; and VTRUX Van. The range-extending technology of the VIA powertrain allows its trucks, SUVs, and vans to drive the first 40 miles in all-electric mode and then 400 additional miles on a single tank of gasoline. The VIA’s electric drive motor delivers 402 hp. Its 4.3L V-6 gasoline engine is connected directly to the electric motor and is used only when needed to generate electricity to automatically recharge its batteries.

All-electric vehicles feature both out-of-the-box engineering and design.

Boulder Electric Vehicle’s lineup for MY-2013 features an Electric Delivery Van, a Service Body, and a Flat Bed. The company will also debut a 15-Passenger Shuttle in the future. The electric motor is powered by a lithium-iron phosphate battery with a lifespan of 3,000 cycles. The company estimates that it will cost between 3 and 8 cents of electricity per mile to operate its vehicles.

Tesla Motors’ MY-2013 Model S electric sedan is available with a choice of a 40 kWh, 60 kWh, or 85 kWh battery. The company estimates that the Model S has a top speed of 125 mph.

While diesel could be considered a traditional fuel, it continues to help automakers push the boundaries of sustainability.
Chevrolet will release a Cruze diesel during MY-2013.

For the 2013 model-year, the Audi Q7 will receive a new generation 3.0L V-6 TDI engine that delivers 240 hp and 406 lb.-ft. of torque while coming in 55-lbs. lighter than the previous engine. The new TDI engine delivers greater performance and 19 mpg city/28 mpg hwy or 12 percent better than the previous model, according to the automaker.

The 2013 Volkswagen Beetle is available with a 2.0L TDI Clean Diesel turbocharged four-cylinder diesel with DSG 6-speed dual-clutch automatic or a 6-speed manual, which produces 140 hp and 236 lb.-ft. of torque. The Beetle has a manufacturer fuel economy estimate of 28 mpg city/41 mpg highway when equipped with the manual transmission.

The MY-2013 Volkswagen Golf is available with a 50-state compliant 2.0L TDI Clean Diesel. Volkswagen’s 2.0L turbocharged inline four-cylinder TDI Clean Diesel produces 140 hp and 236 lb.-ft. of torque. Standard on the Golf TDI Clean Diesel is a 6-speed manual transmission. The TDI is also available with a 6-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission with Tiptronic and Sport mode. Both models deliver an EPA-estimated 30 mpg city/ 42 mpg highway, with a single tank range of more than 600 miles.
Volkswagen’s 2013 Jetta SportWagen is available with a 50-state compliant 2.0L TDI Clean Diesel, which produces 140 hp and 236 lb.-ft. of torque. Standard with the Jetta SportWagen TDI Clean Diesel is the 6-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission with Tiptronic and Sport mode. The SportWagen TDI Clean Diesel has an EPA-estimated 29 mpg city/39 mpg highway and driving, while the TDI with manual transmission can average 30 mpg city/42 mpg highway.

The 2013 Volkswagen Passat is offered with a 2.0L TDI Clean Diesel inline four-cylinder engine, which produces 140 hp and 236 lb.-ft. of torque. It delivers an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 43 mpg highway when equipped with the 6-speed manual transmission, giving it a range of 795 miles on one tank of ultra-low-sulfur clean diesel. The TDI engine is equipped with a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system that fulfills emissions requirements in all 50 states, according to the automaker.
The 2013 Volkswagen Touareg is available with a 3.0L turbocharged V-6 TDI Clean Diesel. This version of the TDI has been significantly revised, with an engine block that is constructed from compacted graphite iron (CGI), according to the automaker. This material matches conventional cast iron for strength, but allows for a reduction in mass of about 55 lbs. compared with the previous V-6 TDI unit. To achieve its 50-state-legal emissions qualification, a deNOx catalytic converter, augmented by a special injection system that sprays AdBlue into the exhaust, helps reduce NOx emissions by up to 90 percent, according to the automaker. This lets the engine meet the Tier 2, Bin 5/ULEV II standards imposed across all 50 U.S. states. The engine now produces 240 hp (up from 225 hp) and delivers 406 lb.-ft. of torque. It has an EPA-estimated mileage rating of 20 mpg city/29 mpg highway.

The MY-2013 BMW 3 Series features two diesel options in addition to the regular gasoline engine: The 2.0L diesel, which produces 184 hp, and the optimized 3.0L six-cylinder diesel, which produces 258 hp. In European testing, the six-cylinder diesel was rated at 55.4 mpg, beating its predecessor model by 15 percent, according to the automaker. The 320d Touring model, which is powered by the BMW TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder diesel engine achieved 60.1 mpg in its European testing, according to the automaker.

About the author
Tom Berg

Tom Berg

Former Senior Contributing Editor

Journalist since 1965, truck writer and editor since 1978.

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