The five finalists for the first annual Canadian Green Car Award were revealed and the winner will be announced on April 12 at the Green Living Show in Toronto.  The finalists were selected by members of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada.

Ford C-Max Energi Priced From $29,995* (after credit)

Ford C-Max Energi Priced From $29,995* (after credit)

Before delving into the details, we say that as fans of plug-in vehicles, it seems the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada got this list of finalists wrong.

The 5 finalists are:

  • Ford C-Max Energi
  • Ford Fusion Hybrid
  • Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
  • Mazda3
  • Volkswagen Jetta Turbocharged Hybrid
Other eligible nominees included the Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel, Chevrolet Volt, Ford Edge EcoBoost, Ford Focus Electric, Mazda CX-5, Mazda6, Mercedes-Benz B 250 Turbo, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Nissan LEAF and Smart Fortwo Electric Drive.

Hmm... No Chevy Volt on the List?

Hmm... No Chevy Volt on the List?

Judging criteria includes:

  • Fuel economy and emissions
  • Environmental features—for example, use of recycled materials
  • Steps taken by manufacturers to "green" operations
  • Assessed market potential 
  • Build quality, driving experience, overall features, availability and general consumer appeal
  • Price
"Consumer appeal" is obviously a questionable judging criteria, but our real issue is with the "assessed market potential" criteria, as that's mostly an educated guess with no backing.

Peter Gorrie, chair of theGreen Car Award committee, confirms that this elusive "assessed market potential" is almost certainly what prevented the other capable plug-in vehicles from making the list of finalists:

"After all, a car loaded with ‘green’ features will make a difference only if it sells in large numbers and supplants lesser models.  While EVs represent impressive technology, that focus might have prevented the four battery-electric nominees from making the final five."

But committee member Michael Bettencourt's comment seems to contradict Gorrie

"Our hope is this award will shine a light on how folks can improve their health, their planet and their monthly fuel bills, if they have to use a car."

It sure sounds like Bettencourt is describing plug-in vehicles, doesn't it?