Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid Grabs Green Car of the Year Award at Los Angeles Auto Show

By Brendan Moore


Green Car Journal awarded its Green Car of the Year® award to the 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid at the Los Angeles Auto Show this morning. So a truck wins a Car of the Year Award.

There is no denying that General Motors has done a fantastic job with the hybrid in the Tahoe; they have endowed a 6000 lb. vehicle with the fuel economy of a Toyota Camry four-cylinder, and by the way, the Tahoe can tow the Camry while it’s getting that fuel mileage. But, it IS a big, big vehicle.

The five nominees for the 2008 Green Car of the Year® award were: The 2008 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid, Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid, Mazda Tribute Hybrid, Nissan Altima Hybrid, and Saturn Aura Hybrid.

According to the Green Car Journal, “each of the nominees achieves “firsts” in specific ways. All, of course, feature fuel efficiency gains and offer extremely low emissions with advanced technologies used to further increase their environmental performance. The Chevrolet Tahoe, a popular larger SUV, is now much more fuel efficient through the use of an all-new two-mode hybrid technology. Mazda’s Tribute Hybrid is this auto maker’s first-ever gasoline-electric hybrid model and exemplifies the continuing evolution of fuel efficient hybrid technology shared with related brands. The Chevrolet Malibu and Saturn Aura hybrids showcase affordable hybrid technology available in mass-market sedans. Nissan’s Altima Hybrid represents this brand’s first-ever use of hybrid technology to blend higher efficiencies and performance in its popular sport sedan.

Dozens of potential nominees weighed in during the selection process. Green Car Journal editors considered vehicles employing all fuels and technologies in the effort to raise the bar in environmental performance, including high efficiency gasoline internal combustion, advanced diesel, hybrids, and vehicles capable of running on alternative fuels. In the Green Car of the Year® program, nominees must stand out as exemplary models that forward environmental performance in meaningful and quantifiable ways. Market significance and “newness” are factors. All nominees must be on sale by January 1st of the award year.Jurors include leaders of the nation’s top environmental organizations, including Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club; Christopher Flavin, president of Worldwatch Institute; Jean-Michel Cousteau, president of Ocean Futures Society; and Jonathan Lash, President of the World Resources Institute. Also, Jay Leno noted auto enthusiast and host of the “Tonight Show” as well as automotive icon Carroll Shelby join four Green Car Journal editors to round out the 2008 jury.”

It was interesting to see the attendees at the award ceremony this morning; there were people there from environmental organizations that generally shun any show like the L.A. Auto Show, and there was a scattering of journalists from both environmental and mass-market news organizations that were at the show solely to attend the ceremony, and then, gone.

Its an unknown how much value the Green Car of the Year® award will have to the general public, but you can be sure that General Motors will be mentioning (read: trumpeting) the award every chance they get, whether online, in television ads, print or anywhere else. If the award turns out to have value in the public consciousness, then it will be leveraged.

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Author: Brendan Moore

Brendan Moore is a Principal Consultant with Cedar Point Consulting , a management consulting practice based in the Washington, DC area. He also manages Autosavant Consulting, a separate practice within Cedar Point Consulting. where he advises businesses connected to the auto industry. Cedar Point Consulting can be found at

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  1. GM’s going to be laughing all the way to the bank on this one.

  2. WOW!!!!! That’s huge! I’m so sick of hearing about the Prius. I love that GM is blowing Toyota out of the water and giving them the finger!

    I can’t wait to see the VOLT!

  3. I like it, and the economy numbers are impressive, but since I don’t have anything to tow, it wouldn’t make any sense for me to dump the cash on something like this as a family hauler when a minivan or large crossover (like the Acadia) gets similar mileage for $10,000 or $15,000 less (excluding the expected tax credits).

    What would really be awesome is an Acadia/Enclave/Outlook with the two mode system in it. I believe that GM is planning that for MY 2010 or so, if I recall correctly.

  4. YES!!! OK it’s huge, we get it, but look at the fuel economy! Lots of people actually need a truck, you know. And why would anyone buy another full-size truck when they could have this?

  5. I’d still buy a Toyota Tundra. I just don’t trust GM’s quality.

  6. Well, if you buy the new Tundra, you probably won’t be so trustworthy of Toyotas. The new Tundra is one of the main reasons why Toyota dropped in the most recent Consumer Reports rankings. Toyota is no longer the quality king. It’s growing too fast and loyal Toyota fans will have to look elsewhere. The problems that have been plaguing the Tundra aren’t small by any means either.

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