Winner: 2011 Nissan Leaf
It's the only mass-market all-electric car on the road, and is designed to travel 100 miles on a full charge, costing the average driver just $560 per year in "fuel" costs as low as it gets. Its $32,780 list price is high for a car its size, but generous federal (and in many cases, state) tax credits help a lot.
People's Choice: 2011 Lexus CT 200h
Unlike with its cousin the Toyota Prius, Lexus isn't pushing the CT 200h on treehuggers; it's advertising the $29,120 as the "darker side of green." But at 42 mpg, it ranks just behind the Prius for fuel economy among non-electric 2011 cars, making it pretty green.
Learn more about our 2011 Heart of Green Award winners!
About the Nominees
2011 Chevy Volt
GM's highly touted entry into the electric car market comes in the form of the Chevrolet Volt, which is designed to go 40 miles on a battery charge, and farther using the innovative 37 mpg gas engine. At upwards of $40,000 it isn't a typical Chevy but it qualifies for those tax credits, too, and costs as little as $600 to fuel.
2012 Fiat 500
The Euro-chic Fiat 500 is expected to hit U.S. markets early in 2011, get about 40 mpg
and maybe, just maybe, resurrect the Chrysler brand. It will be the most fuel-efficient non-electric, non-hybrid car on the road, and should start around $15,500.
2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid
A critical darling, the Ford Fusion Hybrid is the winner of the 2010 North American Car of the Year Award. It starts at $28,240 and at 39 mpg will cost the average driver only about $1,140 in gas a year.
2011 Honda CR-Z Hybrid
This sporty 2-seat coupe is a recent addition to the U.S. market, and joins the Civic and the Insight in Honda's drive to field a full fleet of hybrid cars. It gets 37 mpg, starts at $19,200 and costs about $1,160 to fuel.
- Dan Shapley