TORONTO, April 12, 2013 /CNW/ - The Ford Fusion hybrid today won the first annual Canadian Green Car Award. The award, selected by a panel of expert members of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada, was announced at the Green Living Show, in Toronto. The competition aims to recognize vehicles with the potential for strong environmental benefits and to provide consumers with authoritative information about them. "We are extremely proud that the 2013 Ford Fusion hybrid has been honoured by our country's top automotive journalists as the recipient of the inaugural Canadian Green Car Award," said Steve Ross, Ford of Canada's product marketing manager, sustainability and electrification. "The Fusion hybrid is an important vehicle in the Ford line-up, delivering leading fuel-economy, innovative technologies and a sleek, desirable design for eco-conscious consumers." The Fusion hybrid was among five finalists for the award from 15 environmentally advanced vehicles nominated by their manufacturers. This group also included the Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid, Hyundai Sonata hybrid, Mazda's Mazda3 highly efficient internal-combustion compact and Volkswagen's turbocharged clean diesel Jetta. The competition not only emphasized fuel economy and emissions, but also considered other environmental features within each vehicle - for example, use of recycled or naturally sourced materials - and steps each manufacturer has taken to green its operations. Equally important, it assessed market potential - factors such as build quality, driving experience, overall features, availability, general consumer appeal and price. "The competition has made it clear that driving a green vehicle isn't a dull, obligation. On the contrary - they can be great fun," said Peter Gorrie, chair of AJAC's Green Car Award steering committee, who presented the trophy. "We're just at the beginning of a green revolution in cars. We want this award to help everyone understand and appreciate it, and make the best possible choice for themselves and the environment." "Green Living is pleased to support and host the award, which fits our focus of helping consumers to make environmentally sound choices," said Laurie Simmonds, president and CEO of Green Living Enterprises, the show's operator. "We congratulate Ford and all the manufacturers that nominated such impressive vehicles in the competition, and look forward to many more years of jointly promoting the most innovative green cars on the market." "AJAC believes that green technologies mean the evolution of the automobile, not its demise," said president Charles Renny. "The fact that automobiles can adapt and thrive speaks volumes about those who love cars and are passionate about preserving our planet. The Canadian Green Car Award is the first step down the path of embracing that future." Other nominees included the Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel, Chevrolet Volt, Ford Edge EcoBoost, Ford Focus Electric, Mazda CX-5, Mazda6, Mercedes-Benz B 250 Turbo, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Nissan Leaf and Smart Fortwo Electric Drive.