Green Car of the Year in Finland

Green Car of the Year in Finland

By Ari Lampinen, CBG100 Suomi, November 2015

Updated in January 2017

 

Introduction

Green Car of the Year has been selected annually in Finland since 1996. In 2016 the 21th selection was made. Methane car was chosen for the second time and it was the fourth alternative fuel car to receive this recognition. In 1996-2014 and 2016 only overall green car of the year was chosen, but in 2015 also in four categories. Most of this text is devoted to the selection processes in 2015-2016, but a review of earlier selections is also given.

Candidates have always been M1 vehicles (passenger cars for at most 9 people with maximum weight at most 3500 kg) according to the EU vehicle classification, i.e. they require B class driver's licence. They have been available in the Finnish market imported by official brand representatives during the year of selection. Therefore, light cars (class L vehicles) are not included and M1 cars imported to the Finnish market by independent car dealers are not included. The selection process has never covered all cars meeting the above requirements, but criteria for eligibility has changed every year. Method for assessment of candidates remained almost unchanged for 19 years, but in 2015 a significantly different method was taken into use. A government renewable energy organization was in charge of the first 18 selections in 1996-2013, a car magazine conducted the selection in 2014 and an association specialized in technology and environmental protection was in charge of the selection in 2015.

 

Abbreviations:

AFV = Alternative Fuel Vehicle

BEV = Battery Electric Vehicle

CBG = Compressed BioGas

CMG = Compressed Methane Gas

EV = Electric motor Vehicle

FCEV = Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle

GH2 = compressed Gaseous Hydrogen

H2V = Hydrogen Vehicle

MGV = Methane Gas Vehicle

PEV = Plug-in Electric Vehicle

PHEV = Plug-in-Hybrid Electric Vehicle

Terms:

Bifuel: Car equipped with 2 fuel systems for 2 different fuels and ability to use either of them independently

Dedicated: Car able to use only one energy source

Flexible: Car able to use more than one different energy sources

Methane gas: Mixture of gases, where all or most energy content is in the form of methane

Monofuel: Car able to use only one fuel 

Segment: Division of cars into 9 groups in the European Union (A, B, C, D, E, F, M, J and S)

Vehicle class: Division of vehicles in the European Union

 

History

Green Car of the Year in Finland has been selected 21 times, in 1996-2016. The last 4 selections are alternative fuel cars.

Year Green Car of the Year Type Technology AFV
1996 Toyota Corolla Gasoline car Monofuel (gasoline) no
1997 Honda Civic Gasoline car Monofuel (gasoline) no
1998 Seat Toledo Diesel car Monofuel (diesel oil) no
1999 Opel Corsa Gasoline car Monofuel (gasoline) no
2000 Opel Corsa Gasoline car Monofuel (gasoline) no
2001 VW Polo Diesel car Monofuel (diesel oil) no
2002 Audi A2 Diesel car Monofuel (diesel oil) no
2003 Toyota Yaris Diesel car Monofuel (diesel oil) no
2004 VW Passat Diesel car Monofuel (diesel oil) no
2005 Toyota Corolla Diesel car Monofuel (diesel oil) no
2006 Peugeot 107, Citroen C1 and Toyota Aygo Gasoline car Monofuel (gasoline) no
2007 Citroen Xsara Picasso Diesel car Monofuel (diesel oil) no
2008 Toyota Prius Gasoline car Monofuel (gasoline) no
2009 Toyota Yaris Gasoline car Monofuel (gasoline) no
2010 Škoda Octavia Diesel car Monofuel (diesel oil) no
2011 Toyota Prius Gasoline car Monofuel (gasoline) no
2012 Škoda Octavia Diesel car Monofuel (diesel oil) no
2013 Toyota Prius PHEV Gasoline plug-in-hybrid PHEV (electricity/gasoline) yes
2014 Nissan Leaf Electric car BEV (electricity) yes
2015 Seat Mii Ecofuel Methane car Bifuel (CMG/gasoline) yes
2016 VW Caddy Maxi TGI Methane car Bifuel (CMG/gasoline) yes

 

Three organizations have been in charge of the selection:

  • 1996-2013 Motiva: state renewable energy and energy efficiency information centre (since 2000 state company) under Ministry of Employment and the Economy 
  • 2014 Tuulilasi: car magazine
  • 2015-2016 Technology for Life: association of technology and environmental protection professionals

 

The first 17 selections are conventionally fueled cars able to use only gasoline (8 selections) or diesel oil (9 selections). The last 4 selections are AFV cars with ability to use 100 % renewable energy in the form of pure (100 %) renewable electricity (2 selections) or renewable methane (2 selections).

Pure renewable electricity has been used in cars in Finland since 1910's. Pure renewable methane has been used in cars in Finland since 1941.

 

Green Car of the Year 2015

Green Car of the Year 2015 in Finland is Seat Mii Ecofuel. It is the first methane car and the third alternative fuel car to be chosen.

Green Car of the Year was selected also in four categories (see table and photos below).

Category Green Car of the Year 2015 Segment Type Technology
Small cars Seat Mii Ecofuel A Methane car Bifuel (CMG/gasoline)
Medium cars Škoda Octavia G-Tec C Methane car Bifuel (CMG/gasoline)
Large cars VW Caddy Maxi TGI M Methane car Bifuel (CMG/gasoline)
Other cars Tesla Model S F Electric car BEV (electricity)
OVERALL SEAT MII ECOFUEL

 

The selection process was conducted by Technology for Life, a Finnish association of engineers, scientists and experts of interdisciplinary science and technology studies specialized in responsible utilization of technology. Results of the selection process were released in November 2015. Selection process is described below.

 

Environmental criteria of participation

Car models were eligible candidates in the selection process by fulfilling the following 3 environmental requirements regarding crude oil independency and environmental quality of primary and secondary energy:

  1. Primary energy: must be able to use solar or wind energy based secondary energy form, which is available in public stations in EU and/or Nordic countries.
  2. Secondary energy: must be able to use clean secondary energy forms, i.e. electricity, hydrogen or methane (as defined by the EU Directive 2014/94/EU on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure) in pure (100 %) form.
  3. Crude oil independency: must be crude oil independent, i.e. able to drive without crude oil based fuels (but may also have ability to use crude oil based fuels).

 

As a result of these environmental requirements, all candidates

  • are AFV cars with ability to 100 % use of alternative secondary energy forms,
  • are able to use 100 % renewable electricity, hydrogen or methane in pure form,
  • are able to reach CO2 emission level 0 gCO2/km, and
  • are able to reach lifecycle greenhouse gas emission level 0 gCO2eq/km.

 

 

Candidates

Selections were made of 46 car models representing 17 car brands and all 9 car segments. All are new factory produced M1 (or M1G) class vehicles according to the EU vehicle classification and have been available during 2015 in the Finnish market imported by official brand representatives, i.e. models imported by independent car dealers were not included. They were evaluated in four categories:

  1. Small cars (7): segments A (mini) and B (small)
  2. Medium cars (14): segment C (medium)
  3. Large cars (15): segments D (large), E (executive) and M (multi purpose)
  4. Other cars (10): segments F (luxury), J (SUV) and S (sport)

 

Candidates represent 5 different technologies:

AFV type Technology Description Energy flexibility Models
PEV BEV (electricity) electric car Dedicated 10
PHEV (electricity/gasoline) gasoline plug-in-hybrid car Flexible 16
PHEV (electricity/diesel oil) diesel plug-in-hybrid car Flexible 1
H2V FCEV (GH2) hydrogen fuel cell car (monofuel) Dedicated 1
MGV Bifuel (CMG/gasoline) methane car (bifuel) Flexible 18

 

Of the 46 candidates 11 are dedicated AFVs (BEV and H2V) and 35 are flexible AFVs also able to use either gasoline or diesel oil (PHEV and MGV).

Candidates represent 17 brands:

Brand Models Segments Technologies
Volkswagen 11 A, C, D, M BEV, MGV, gasoline-PHEV
Mercedes-Benz 8 D, E, F, M, J gasoline-PHEV, BEV, MGV
Skoda 3 A, C MGV
Seat 3 A, C MGV
Opel 3 C, M gasoline-PHEV, MGV
Porsche 3 F, J, S gasoline-PHEV
Audi 2 C MGV, gasoline-PHEV
Nissan 2 C, M BEV
Volvo 2 D, J diesel-PHEV, gasoline-PHEV
BMW 2 B, J BEV, gasoline-PHEV
Tesla 1 F BEV
Mitsubishi 1 J gasoline-PHEV
Toyota 1 C gasoline-PHEV
Ford 1 C BEV
Peugeot 1 A BEV
Citroen 1 A BEV
Hyundai 1 J H2V

 

 

Evaluation

Candidates were evaluated using metrics developed for this purpose. Each car was classified by 9 environmental, 2 economic and 2 practicality properties.

Property Type
Consumption of natural resources as material Lifecycle environmental burden of car
Consumption of natural resources as energy Lifecycle environmental burden of car
Crude oil consumption Lifecycle environmental burden of energy
Coal and peat consumption Lifecycle environmental burden of energy
Lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions Lifecycle environmental burden of energy
CO2 emissions Environmental burden of use
Pollutant emissions Environmental burden of use
Overall sustainability Sustainable development
Sustainable range Sustainable development
Purchase price Economy
Cost of use Economy
Overall practicality Practicality
Transportation capacity Practicality

 

For each property 0-10 points were given. Therefore, scale of total score was 0-130 and scale of environmental score was 0-90. Of the 46 car models evaluated actual total score range was 21-108 and environmental score range was 13-78.

In the four categories cars were arranged in order based on their environmental score. In cases where environmental scores were equal, the order was based on total score. The first placed cars were selected Green Car of the Year in their category.

Category Candidates Green Car of the Year Environmental score Total score
1: Small cars 7 Seat Mii Ecofuel 77 106
2: Medium cars 14 Škoda Octavia G-Tec 74 103
3: Large cars 15 VW Caddy Maxi TGI 78 108
4: Other cars 10 Tesla Model S 56 77

 

The overall Green Car of the Year was chosen from the first placed cars by vote of experts utilizing multicriteria analysis. In addition to scores, other issues were taken into account. Here the multicriteria analysis was necessary because the scores of Seat Mii Ecofuel and VW Caddy Maxi TGI were almost equal and these cars are very different in most aspects. Both of them have a lot of merits, but in separate areas. Therefore, their environmental and total scores can not be considered conclusive to define order between them as the overall best green car. Seat Mii Ecofuel was chosen as the overall Green Car of the Year, because it fits exceptionally well to the traditional green car image, including small size, low natural resource consumption, lack of luxury features and low price.

Although no other awards were given, scores also allow to acknowledge best cars in technology groups and segments. In this case order was based on total score and environmental score was taken into account only, if more than one car model had the same total score.

Technology Candidates Best car Total score Environmental score
BEV 10 VW e-up! 95 70
Gasoline-PHEV 16 Opel Ampera 77 51
Diesel-PHEV 1 Volvo V60 PHEV 59 40
H2V 1 Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell 71 54
MGV 18 VW Caddy Maxi TGI 108 78

 

Segment Candidates Best car(s) Total score
A: mini 6 Seat Mii Ecofuel, Škoda Citigo G-Tec and VW Eco-up! 106
B: small 1 BMW i3 91
C: medium 14 Škoda Octavia G-Tec and Škoda Octavia Combi G-Tec 103
D: large 5 VW Passat GTE and VW Passat Variant GTE 73
E: executive 1 MB E200 NGD 93
F: luxury 3 Tesla Model S 77
M: multi purpose 9 VW Caddy Maxi TGI 108
J: SUV 6 Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell 71
S: sport 1 Porsche 918 Spyder 21

 

 

Environmental classification

Each car model was given environmental classification based on their environmental scores. This is independent from the evaluation described above and does not affect placings and nominations. Environmental classification is indicated by 0-5 suns. Usually star symbol is used in classifications, but here sun symbol is applied instead, because ability to consume solar energy is one of the requirements of participation. In addition to sun classification, a verbal classification was given:

  • Super Eco Car: 4-5 suns
  • Eco Car: 3 suns
  • Environmentally Enhanced Car (EEV): 1-2 suns
  • Other car: 0 sun

 

For 5 suns, globally the best available technology was required. None of the 46 car models achieved it, since the Finnish market is not mature enough to allow the environmentally best cars to compete. Therefore, they are not imported for sale in Finland by official brand representatives.

Majority of candidates, 27 car models, achieved 4 sun classification. These cars make it easy for their owners to achieve especially low environmental burdens. They enable in practise transition to sustainable 100 % renewable energy consumption in transportation energy use in Finland. They are listed below in alphabetical order.

Super Eco Car Seats Body style Technology Segment Category
Audi A3 g-tron 5 Wagon MGV C 2
BMW i3 4 Hatchback BEV B 1
Citroen C-Zero 4 Hatchback BEV A 1
Ford Focus Electric 5 Hatchback BEV C 2
Mercedes-Benz B200 NGD 5 Multi-purpose MGV M 3
Mercedes-Benz B250e 5 Multi-purpose BEV M 3
Mercedes-Benz E200 NGD 5 Sedan MGV E 3
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 316 NGT 9 Minibus MGV M 3
Nissan e-NV200 7 Multi-purpose BEV M 3
Nissan Leaf 5 Hatchback BEV C 2
Opel Combo Tour CNG 7 Multi-purpose MGV M 3
Opel Zafira Tourer XNT 7 Multi-purpose MGV M 3
Peugeot iOn 4 Hatchback BEV A 1
Seat Leon G-Tec 5 Hatchback MGV C 2
Seat Leon ST G-Tec 5 Wagon MGV C 2
Seat Mii Ecofuel 4 Hatchback MGV A 1
Škoda Citigo G-Tec 4 Hatchback MGV A 1
Škoda Octavia G-Tec 5 Sedan MGV C 2
Škoda Octavia Combi G-Tec 5 Wagon MGV C 2
Volkswagen Caddy TGI 7 Multi-purpose MGV M 3
Volkswagen Caddy Maxi TGI 7 Multi-purpose MGV M 3
Volkswagen Eco-up! 4 Hatchback MGV A 1
Volkswagen e-Golf 5 Hatchback BEV C 2
Volkswagen e-up! 4 Hatchback BEV A 1
Volkswagen Golf TGI 5 Hatchback MGV C 2
Volkswagen Golf Variant TGI 5 Wagon MGV C 2
Volkswagen Touran TGI 7 Multi-purpose MGV M 3

 

Only 3 car models achieved 3 sun classification. These cars have good environmental merits but for various reasons it is not easy for their owners to use them with low environmental burdens. They are listed below in alphabetical order.

Eco Car Seats Body style Technology Segment Category
Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell 5 SUV H2V J 4
Opel Ampera 4 Hatchback PHEV C 2
Tesla Model S 5 Sedan BEV F 4

 

Eight car models achieved 2 sun classification. These cars include important environmental features allowing their owners to use them with low environmental burdens, but they also include features making such use difficult, in practise. They are listed below in alphabetical order.

Environmentally Enhanced Car Seats Body style Technology Segment Category
Audi A3 e-tron 5 Wagon PHEV C 2
Mercedes-Benz C350e 5 Sedan PHEV D 3
Mercedes-Benz C350e T 5 Wagon PHEV D 3
Toyota Prius PHEV 5 Hatchback PHEV C 2
Volkswagen Golf GTE 5 Hatchback PHEV C 2
Volkswagen Passat GTE 5 Sedan PHEV D 3
Volkswagen Passat Variant GTE 5 Wagon PHEV D 3
Volvo V60 PHEV 5 Wagon PHEV D 3

 

Eight car models achieved 1 sun classification. These cars have been built for purposes that fundamentally contradict environmental objectives. However, they include technology that makes possible to use them with low environmental burdens. Although it is very difficult, their owners do have this option. These cars are listed below in alphabetical order.

Environmentally Enhanced Car Seats Body style Technology Segment Category
BMW X5 xDrive40e 5 SUV PHEV J 4
Mercedes-Benz GLE500e 5 SUV PHEV J 4
Mercedes-Benz S500 PHEV 5 Sedan PHEV F 4
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 5 SUV PHEV J 4
Porsche 918 Spyder 2 Convertible PHEV S 4
Porsche Cayenne S E-hybrid 5 SUV PHEV J 4
Porsche Panamera S E-hybrid 4 Coupe PHEV F 4
Volvo XC90 PHEV 7 SUV PHEV J 4

 

None of the car models were classified below 1 sun.

 

Green Car of the Year 2016

Green Car of the Year 2016 in Finland is methane car Volkswagen Caddy Maxi TGI.

Selection was made of 33 car models from 11 car brands and 5 car segments (A, B, C, D and M). Candidates represent 5 different technologies:

AFV type Technology Description Energy flexibility Models Change
from 2015
PEV BEV (electricity) electric car Dedicated 6 -4
PHEV (electricity/gasoline) gasoline plug-in-hybrid car Flexible 10 -6
PHEV (electricity/diesel oil) diesel plug-in-hybrid car Flexible 1 0
H2V FCEV (GH2) hydrogen fuel cell car (monofuel) Dedicated 1 0
MGV Bifuel (CMG/gasoline) methane car (bifuel) Flexible 15 -3

 

Criteria of participation was stricter than in 2015 as car segments E, F, J and S were no longer included. They are built for purposes that are in conflict with green driving. Also heavy M segment cars were excluded, because they are almost exclusively used in commercial purposes. As a result, the amount of candidates dropped from 46 (2015) to 33 (2016).

Evaluation was simpler than in 2015 as it was based on environmental score only. Each car was classified by 9 environmental properties yielding at most 90 points. VW Caddy Maxi TGI scored 78 points, which gave it first position among the candidates.