With the start of the new year, we're back to our end-of-month rundowns on the top five most popular green car posts of the last 30 days. For January, the top two came from our comprehensive coverage of the 2010 Detroit Auto Show.
We have just one carryover this month from the year's Top Ten Most Popular stories, plus a surprise reappearance from October. The other three are all from January, proving that our green-car coverage and reviews attract more users every month. Thank you, all!
# 5: Early EVs Won't Need Many Public Charge Points, Says NYC. This was close to a policy-wonk story, but we thought it was important news. You all apparently agreed. Bottom Line: Conventional wisdom says electric cars won't take off until a network of public charging stations exists. Now a study by New York City disagrees, saying the first few years of EV owners won't use them much. Instead, they'll adapt their lives to the limited range of the electric vehicle.
ford kuga individual 001
#4: Here It Is: New 2012 Ford Escape, But Will There Be a Hybrid? The fourth-place rank for this October story was a bit of a surprise, but we suspect it means interest in Ford's future products is way up. Bottom Line: After bringing its European 2011 Fiesta and 2012 Focus to the U.S., Ford will continue its "One Ford" global product rollout by building the current European Kuga small crossover in Kentucky as the next Escape. We think there'll be a hybrid version for the States, though Europe's Kuga doesn't offer one.
2010 Volkswagen Golf TDI
# 3: Will the 2010 Volkswagen Golf TDI Be Diesel's Biggest Winner? This perennial favorite just keeps on showing up in our lists of each month's Top Five stories. Bottom Line: The reviews are good, and the base price is just $21,990. We think VW's 2010 Golf TDI will sell well, and drivers clearly like it. We wonder whether carmakers without previous U.S. diesel offerings, including Audi and BMW, may have a tougher time getting traction in the small clean-diesel market.
2010 Detroit Auto Show
# 2: Best Green Car of the 2010 Detroit Auto Show: 2012 Ford Focus. We've seen strong interest across the board for Ford's two newest, smallest cars, the 2012 Focus compact and the 2011 Fiesta subcompact. This rank isn't surprising. Bottom Line: The 2012 Ford Focus was surely the most important car at this month's Detroit Auto Show. With attractive, cutting-edge styling and a remarkable list of standard and optional features, it's vitally important to Ford, which needs to prove it can build small cars in the U.S. at a profit. We suspect the 2012 Ford Focus will do very well indeed.
# 1: 2010 Detroit Auto Show: The Confusing Wrongness of Electric Avenue. We thought this one might get some attention, but it rocketed to the top and stayed there--proving electric cars still generate strong passions. Bottom Line: The Detroit Show's "Electric Avenue" was a horrifying mishmash of low-speed neighborhood electric vehicles, science projects, and the occasional real car. In particular, we thought the 2011 Nissan Leaf was ill-served by being there at all.
Meanwhile, here are last year's monthly Most Popular lists for GreenCarReports.com: