The Green Car of the Year Award, which honors the most eco-friendly car, hits several "green" technologies in a single winning vehicle this year.
The winner is the Honda Clarity, a sedan that comes in three different varieties: a full electric, a plug-in hybrid and a hydrogen fuel cell model. It was being announced Thursday at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
"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,” Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of the Green Car Journal, said in a statement.
But it wasn't an easy choice, he said. Cogan called it one of the strongest fields in years. Other finalists included Honda Accord, Hyundai Ioniq, Nissan Leaf and Toyota Camry.
The powertrains vary but they all involve technologies that improve air quality or cut oil use. But Cogan said the Clarity stood out because Honda was able to accomplish different fuel-saving strategies on the same platform. That means even though they are different vehicles underneath, from the outside, the Clarities look pretty much the same.
“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," said Steven Center, vice president of connected and environmental business at American Honda.
The Green Car of the Year is the latest in a list of Green Car awards covering a variety of vehicles.
At the San Antonio Auto & Truck Show in November, the Chevrolet Colorado was named as the magazine's 2018 Green Truck of the Year. Not only is the pickup small and more fuel-efficient than the full-size trucks, the Green Car Journal found, it comes in a turbocharged diesel version good for up to 30 miles per gallon on the highway.
The Ford Police Responder Hybrid, a modified Ford Fusion Hybrid, was named 2018 Commercial Green Car of the Year. The magazine's first 2018 Performance Green Car of the Year was the Mazda's MX-5 Miata.