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Dec 16, 2013 8:40 PM by Cameron Polom, KSBY News

Choosing the best green car technologies of 2013

Green Car Journal is set to name the car company with the Best Green Technology for 2013. The man who owns the trade magazine lives right here on the Central Coast. Ron Cogan is considered one of the foremost experts in green car technology. A former writer for Motor Trend Magazine, he began his own publication focusing only on green technology in the 1990s. His opinions have led the way ever since. Cogan and his staff have narrowed the competition this year down to ten cars, including the hybrid Cadillac ELR. He says when he's deciding a winner, evaluating the technology and its potential impact is key. The Cadillac ELR for instance, which is not for sale yet, comes with what's called Regen on Command. This braking system allows the driver to temporarily regenerate energy and store it as electricity in the battery pack for later use. "What happens is, as you're coasting or breaking, your electric motor becomes a generator," said Cogan. "So as you're coasting, the car is recapturing momentum and it's changing it into electrical energy feeding electricity back to your batteries." He says this technology has been around for a while but what's different here is the system lets the driver have control of this process using finger paddles by the steering wheel. That allows the driver to use the car more efficiently and achieve even greater energy savings and range. This year's winner will be announced at the Washington, D.C. Auto Show in January. The hybrid gas and electric Cadillac ELR is being released sometime in early 2014, with a price tag of around $75,000. The other nominees are the Acura Sport Hybrid SH-AWD Powertrain, Audi 3.0-liter TDI Diesel Engine, BMW i3 CFRP Passenger Cell, Ford 1.0-liter EcoBoost Engine, Honda Accord Plug-In Powertrain, Hyundai Fuel Cell, Mazda i-ELOOP Brake Energy Regeneration System, Porsche Plug-In Hybrid Powertrain, and Ram Truck 3.0-Liter EcoDiesel Engine.

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