Green Car Journal says its annual Green Car of the Year awards are “widely recognized as the most important environmental honor in the automotive field.” The awards are judged by an “esteemed jury comprised of environmental end energy leaders, plus celebrity auto enthusiast Jay Leno and Green Car Journal editors,” the publication says, who take into account a variety of factors, including efficiency. Gasoline and diesel vehicles are eligible for these awards, though they mainly focus on all-electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid models.
The Chevy Silverado and Chevy Colorado are two of the five finalists in the running for the Green Truck of the Year award. The two General Motors trucks will be up against the Ford F-150, Jeep Gladiator EcoDiesel and Ram 1500 for the award. While Green Car Journal did not provide reasoning for the finalists it picked, the availability of efficient diesel engines in both the Chevy Silverado and Colorado almost certainly played a role.
The Chevy Silverado is available with a turbo-diesel 3.0L LM2 inline-six Duramax engine, which produces 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. The diesel engine is only available with a GM 10-speed automatic transmission in the truck. A 2021 Silverado with the 3.0L LM2 engine and 2WD has EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of 23 mpg city, 33 mpg highway and 27 mpg combined. When equipped with 4WD, those numbers fall to 22 mpg city, 26 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined.
Meanwhile, the diesel engine in the smaller Chevy Colorado is a turbo-diesel 2.8L LWN Duramax four-cylinder making 181 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. The EPA estimates a 2021 Colorado diesel with 2WD will see returns of 20 mpg city, 30 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined. With 4WD, the truck gets 19 mpg city, 28 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined.
In addition to the diesel engine, it’s possible the Silverado was recognized for the addition of the new turbocharged GM 2.7L L3B four-cylinder engine to its engine portfolio, which can be more efficient than V8 or V6 engines in certain scenarios. The base engine in the Colorado is a fairly efficient GM 2.5L LCV four-cylinder as well.
The 2021 Green Car of the Year award winners will be announced during a presentation at the Virtual Greenbuild Conference and Expo on November 10th.