Green Car Reports Year In Reverse: 2015's Five Biggest Stories

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2016 Nissan Leaf SL and 2016 Toyota Prius Three, Hudson Valley, NY, Dec 2015

2016 Nissan Leaf SL and 2016 Toyota Prius Three, Hudson Valley, NY, Dec 2015

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At the end of every year, we look back to see which Green Car Reports stories proved most popular over the last 365 days.

While we often focus on breaking news, certain stories--often guides and lists--get regular traffic for months and even years.

Only one of our top five stories this year was first published in 2015: our guide to sorting out the Volkswagen diesel-emission scandal and what owners need to know.

Unlike last year, the other four are all guides as well, covering hybrid batteries, diesel pickup trucks, diesel cars, and electric cars.

In reverse order, here are the five articles that drew the most traffic on Green Car Reports during 2015.

2008 Toyota Prius

2008 Toyota Prius

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(5) Toyota Hybrid Battery Replacement Cost Guide (Aug 2012)

This three-year-old piece is clearly one that we should go back and update.

We wrote it to help readers understand what it cost to replace batteries in hybrid cars, most notably the Toyota Prius.

With the earliest Priuses on U.S. roads now 15 years old, more batteries may be starting to fail--as one reader's question about her 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid battery underscored.

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, Bear Mountain, May 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, Bear Mountain, May 2014

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(4) Diesel Pickup Trucks From Chevy, Ford, Nissan, Ram: Ultimate Guide (Dec 2013)

Our fourth most-popular article, one of two diesel vehicle guides, is actually two years old this month.

The launch of the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel by Chrysler's truck brand generated a huge amount of interest, and clearly that's continued into 2015.

The article also covered plans for other diesel pickups from Chevy and GMC--finally shipping this month as the 2016 Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon diesels--and what we then knew about the 2016 Nissan Titan XD.

Despite the PR woes affecting diesel passenger cars due to the Volkswagen TDI emission-cheating scandal, they remain enormously popular in pickup trucks.

And with fuel costs cheap and the economy recovering, U.S. drivers are buying a whole lot of pickups these days.

2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI Six-Month Road Test

2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI Six-Month Road Test

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(3) VW Diesel Emissions Recall: What You Need To Know In 10 Questions (Sep 2015)

On September 18, Volkswagen's admission to the EPA that it had systematically used "defeat device" software in 482,000 of its TDI diesel cars to evade emission limits since 2008 hit the automotive world like a bombshell.

It's the biggest industry story of the year, and the implications and repercussions are still reverberating.

Within a week, the cheating claimed several top VW Group executives, including CEO Martin Winterkorn, and ended up affecting 11 million cars globally.

But U.S. owners still don't know how their cars may have to be updated to come into compliance with the rules.

Our guide to every 2.0-liter TDI model affected is another good resource on that front.

2015 Mercedes-Benz E250 BlueTec

2015 Mercedes-Benz E250 BlueTec

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(2) Our Guide To Every 2014 And 2015 Diesel Car On Sale In The U.S. (updated Mar 2015)

This is our annual update on a story we first published back in 2012, and it was a Top Five piece last year too.

We revise it to cover the expanding lineups of diesel passenger cars and SUVs planned and launched by Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen--along with Chevrolet and Jeep as well.

We'll have to revisit it again this year, and note any impact of the VW diesel scandal on German makers' plans to offer diesel throughout much of their lineups.

2016 Nissan Leaf

2016 Nissan Leaf

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(1) Electric Car Price Guide: Every 2015-2016 Plug-In Car, With Specs (updated Apr 2015)

Given the huge readership we get for almost every article on electric cars that we publish, this one's not really a surprise.

It's more surprising that it didn't rank last year, but with more plug-in cars on North American roads each year, awareness grows each year.

Even if car buyers aren't ready to opt for a battery-electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle for their next purchase, it's likely that more and more of them are researching the field.

Maybe a neighbor or a coworker has one, or they've seen ads or articles on the idea of plugging in rather than filling up.

Whatever the cause, we suspect this one may be a top-traffic piece next year too.

Happy New Year!

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