For our second-annual list of 10 alternative-energy cars most anticipated for the upcoming year, the watchword for the market may be onward and upward.

A year ago at this time, our U.S. sales Dashboard tracked 78 alternative energy cars for sale. Today we count 90 and while this is several cars fewer than had been projected, much positive news was announced this year, and more promising models are pending for 2015.

Alternative-energy drive trains are of course to help wean away from sole dependence on petroleum, and to reduce emissions including the greenhouse gas variety. Beyond that, the cars themselves offer a number of benefits depending on type of technology.

SEE ALSO: November 2014 Dashboard

The main growth has been in plug-in hybrids and all-electric cars, but we contemplated regular hybrids, diesels and alternative technologies besides.

Vehicles included here are selected because they are believed likely to influence the whole market or their respective segment. Beyond these, at least 16 new alternative drive train vehicles will send ripples into the pond during 2015, but our review is limited to 10 top picks.