Volkswagen diesel wins green car award

By Kris Bevill | November 13, 2008
Web exclusive posted Nov. 25, 2008 at 12:58 p.m. CST

For the first time ever, the Green Car Journal gave a diesel car its Green Car of the Year award. Editors at the magazine chose Volkswagen AG's Jetta TDI as the greenest car of 2009 based on its emissions, price point and fuel economy, according to Green Car Journal editor and publisher Ron Cogan.

"Hybrids have dominated the discussion of environmentally positive vehicles in recent years," he said. "The highly fuel efficient, 50 state emissions-certified Jetta TDI shows that advanced clean diesel has arrived and is poised to change this dynamic."

Volkswagen Group of America Chief Executive Officer Stefan Jacoby said over 8,000 Jetta TDIs have sold since the model was introduced in the United States in mid-August. "It's clear that a Volkswagen clean diesel is what people want," he added.

It's possible the green car award and healthy sales of the car could signal a growing trend in the United States towards purchasing diesel automobiles. Biodiesel Magazine reported in its August 2008 issue that more lightweight diesel vehicles will become available in the United States within the next two years. (Read "Drumming up Demand for Diesels.") In the article, Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum, noted that currently there are not a lot of diesel options in the United States, so even a few more vehicles in the market could make a noticeable difference. He added that 13 new light-duty diesel models were unveiled by car companies at the 2008 auto show in Detroit.

In addition to the Jetta TDI, two hybrid vehicles a gasoline-powered "microcar" and a clean diesel sports sedan were also nominated for the Green Car of the Year award.
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