At a press conference hosted by the New York International Auto Show and Mobil 1 at the Jacob Javits Centre in Manhattan, New York, the Honda FCX Clarity was declared the 2009 World Green Car.
This is the second World Green Car win for Honda who previously won for the Honda Civic Hybrid in 2006.
The Honda FCX Clarity was chosen from an initial entry list of twenty-two (22) contenders nominated by fifty-nine (59) World Car jurors from twenty-five (25) countries throughout the world.
To be eligible for the 2009 World Green Car award, a vehicle had to available in at least one major market during 2008. The vehicle or the green technology could be in production or an experimental prototype with potential near-future application, provided that it was released for individual or press fleet evaluations in quantities of ten or more during 2008. Tailpipe emissions, fuel consumption, and use of a major advanced power plant technology (beyond engine componentry), aimed specifically at increasing the vehicle's environmental responsibility, were all taken into consideration.
Due to the complexity of some of the 'green' technologies, three (3) green experts were appointed by the World Car Steering Committee to extensively review all documentation and specs associated with each candidate. They were asked to create a short-list of five finalists for review by the fifty-nine (59) jurors in their second round of voting in February. The ballots were then tabulated by the international accounting firm KPMG.
The three green experts were in alphabetical order:
Sam Abuelsamid (representing North America) is the technical editor of several 'green' web sites including GreenFuelsForecast.com, DieselForecast.com and HydrogenForecast.com. In 2006, he began writing for AutoblogGreen.com and Autoblog.com; becoming a full-time writer and photographer and editor in 2007.
Dean Slavnich (representing Europe) is editor of Engine Technology International (ETi) and its sister publication, Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International (E&H), for the past four years. Engine Technology International is widely regarded as the most readable, passionate and informative publication currently produced on the subject of OE engine and powertrain design, development and manufacture.
Tadashi Tateuchi (representing Asia) is the creator and chairman of the Japan Electric Vehicle (EV) Club. He was awarded the Environment Minister's medal in 1998. A juror on the Japan Car of the Year panel, he contributes regularly to Car Graphic magazine and the Japan Automobile Federation's monthly magazine.
The fifty-nine (59) member jury chose the Honda FCX Clarity, the Mitsubishi iMiEV, and the Toyota iQ as the top three finalists for the 2009 World Green Car award.
Jurors felt that "The FCX clarity is an utterly real, hydrogen-fuelled luxury sedan that provides the amenities people expect in a premium car with 430 km range, fuel consumption of about 3.3 litres/100 km (72 mpg US) equivalent and zero tailpipe emissions. While there is only so much the automotive industry can do when it comes to this technology - governments need to come onboard to help create a true refuelling infrastructure - Honda must be credited for taking a bold step in leasing FCX Clarity to customers in California for US$600 per month. There's still a long way to go before fuel-cell cars will become a commercial success, but hats off to Honda for continuing to advance this expensive technology during a time when every cent counts."
"Honda is honored to receive this distinguished award. The FCX Clarity is a symbol of the progress we have made with fuel cell vehicles and our commitment to developing vehicles that meet the societal goals of climate stability, renewable energy supplies and zero-emissions transportation," said Steve Center, Vice President, National Marketing Operations, American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
Now in their sixth year, the annual World Car awards have become one of the world's most prestigious, credible and significant programs of its kind.
The awards were inaugurated in 2003, and officially launched in January 2004, to reflect the reality of the global marketplace, as well as to recognize and reward automotive excellence on an international scale. The awards are intended to complement, not compete, with existing national and regional Car of the Year programs.
The awards are administered by a non-profit association, under the guidance of a Steering Committee of pre-eminent automotive journalists from Asia, Europe, and North America. There is no affiliation with, nor are the awards in any way influenced by any publication, auto show, automaker, or other commercial enterprise.