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Shoppers just got a hand picking the most environmentally benevolent vehicles.

From EVs like the Tesla S and Chevy Bolt to hybrids including the Chrysler Pacifica and Ford Escape to some plain, ol' gasoline sedans — including the Toyota Avalon and VW Jetta — Consumer Reports' new Green Choice status singles out vehicles that produce the fewest greenhouse and smog-forming gases.

"We're trying to get more eyeballs on this important information," said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports' director of automotive testing, as he revealed the first vehicles to receive the status.

Consumer Reports used EPA data to determine the greenest vehicles.

Hybrids and electric vehicles have a leg up because they produce fewer tailpipe emissions, but more than a quarter of the vehicles rely solely on internal combustion engines.

"This is definitely good for brand image with a segment of customers who care a lot about technology and the environment," Cox Automotive executive analyst Michelle Krebs said.

"It also helps with stock price and how Wall Street investors view a company."

Big vehicles — from minivans to pickups and luxury vehicles — have a hard time winning Green Choice status without significant electrification, whether that comes as a hybrid, plug-in hybrid or pure electric vehicle.

Green Choice status essentially mirrors the EPA's "Smart Way" status, applied to vehicles with scores of seven or higher for greenhouse and smog-forming emissions.

Raising the bar

The benchmark will increase each year, Fisher said. In fact, a couple of vehicles fell off the list as new figures became available in the days before the announcement. Consumer Reports worked closely with the EPA to create the award.

Initially awarded to 48 vehicles, Green Choice applies to about 20% of new vehicles, Fisher said.

The magazine is working on Green Choice recognition for other products, from kitchen appliances to mobile phones. While fuel consumption and tailpipe emissions represent the vast majority of vehicles' environmental impact, other goods might be scored heavily on their manufacturing process and use of materials.

Every vehicle Tesla makes is a Green Choice. Other brands with multiple winners are Chevrolet, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Lexus, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota.

Electric vehicles are a shoo-in for Green Choice status, especially until factors like lithium mining become part of the process.

"When it comes to electric vehicles, America is doing pretty well," Fisher said.

In addition to obvious leader Tesla, which makes EVs exclusively, he singled out General Motors. The Chevy Bolt is the most reliable EV in Consumer Reports' widely followed reliability survey, he said.

"Remember, GM has more than 20 years' experience building EVs," since the short-lived EV1, Fisher noted. "GM has a hell of a head start" on most other automakers. "They learned so much in the '90s."

Ford didn't emphasize EVs as early as GM, but Fisher raved about the Mustang Mach-E electric SUV that Consumer Reports is currently testing.

"It's a really amazing vehicle."

The winners are ...

Here are Consumer Reports' Green Choice new vehicles:

• Audi e-tron

• BMW i3

• Chevrolet Bolt

• Chevrolet Malibu

• Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

• Ford Escape Hybrid

• Honda Accord

• Honda Accord Hybrid

• Honda Civic 1.5T

• Honda Civic

• Honda Clarity

• Honda CR-V Hybrid

• Honda Insight

• Hyundai Elantra

• Hyundai Ioniq

• Hyundai Kona Electric

• Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

• Hyundai Sonata

• Jaguar I-Pace

• Kia Forte

• Kia Niro

• Kia Niro Electric

• Lexus NX Hybrid

• Lexus UX

• Nissan Altima

• Nissan Leaf

• Nissan Sentra

• Nissan Versa

• Porsche Taycan

• Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

• Subaru Impreza

• Tesla Model 3

• Tesla Model S

• Tesla Model X

• Tesla Model Y

• Toyota Avalon

• Toyota Camry Hybrid

• Toyota Camry

• Toyota Corolla Hybrid

• Toyota Corolla Hatchback

• Toyota Highlander Hybrid

• Toyota Prius

• Toyota Prius Prime