01 / Nissan >>
For creating the Leaf, the first mass-market, all-electric car. To make the switch from gas to electricity easier, Nissan is working with electric companies and cities, such as Houston, to build public charging networks.
02 / Azul >>
For converting bus riders into frequent fliers by introducing quick, convenient, and cheap flights in Brazil. The company, started by JetBlue founder David Neeleman, secured about 8% of the Brazilian market within two years of its first flight. And by the end of 2011, Neeleman plans to have the airline serving 50 Brazilian cities.
03 / IBM >>
For revolutionizing the way we travel within and between cities. IBM’s traffic-management software, for example, raises and lowers tolls depending on how many cars are on the road.
04 / GE >>
For greening trains and planes with innovations such as Required Navigation Performance Software, which creates the most fuel-efficient path for a landing aircraft. It’s just one part of a GE green portfolio that generates more than $18 billion annually.
05 / B-cycle
For bringing the first large-scale bike-sharing system to the U.S. B-Cycle made its debut on Earth Day 2010, bringing 400 bikes to 40 docking stations in Denver. In just one month, more than 3,000 people had used the system. B-cycle now lets users check out bikes with credit cards and monitor real-time availability on iPhones.
06 / Daimler
For launching a flexible, eco-friendly option in car sharing. Germany’s Daimler, the world’s second-largest maker of luxury cars, transformed car-sharing with Car2Go, a network of Smartcars that can be picked up and dropped off wherever drivers want, rather than in designated parking lots.
07 / Streetline
For smart-parking and traffic-control technology. There were 8,255 Streetline parking sensors for a pilot program in San Francisco, which enabled the city to implement demand-responsive pricing for parking: the fewer the spaces, the higher the cost. Streetline has spread to seven cities, including New York and Los Angeles. The aim is to have 15% of all parking spots open at any given time.
08 / Boeing
For its cutting-edge U.S. military drone planes. This year, Boeing’s going robotic, with new drone planes fighting in the wars Iraq and Afghanistan. The company estimates a $55 million market for these planes through 2018.
09 / A123 Systems
For running the largest lithium-ion manufacturing plant in the U.S., paving the way for American electric cars. A123 Systems opened the factory last fall, just a year after the Massachusetts-based company issued a $317 million IPO, the largest of 2009. The plant leverages nanoscale assembly, letting the company make high-voltage, fast-charging batteries.
10 / Stratasys
For making the Urbee, a car manufactured by a 3-D printer. Because the Urbee was made using additive manufacturing (a.k.a. printing), manufacturers could eliminate most of the heavy tools and machinery of traditional auto assembly.