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Published on January 3rd, 2016 | by Zachary Shahan


1st “CleanTechnica Car of the Year” Is…

January 3rd, 2016 by  

Voting for the 1st annual CleanTechnica Car of the Year closed the other day, and it’s time to count the votes and reveal the winner!

Luckily, we live in an age in which there’s no need to count up the votes — computers do that for us. We’re also quite lucky to live in an age when an SUV can be about twice as efficient as a Toyota Prius, can still accelerate to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds, and can transport 7 adults + a lot of cargo (though, acceleration is surely a bit slower than 3.2 seconds when the vehicle is packed with people and cargo). And how about those falcon-wing doors?!

I think you’re getting the point, so I’ll just get to the results…

It was very interesting to watch the results change as votes rolled in. For the first few hundred votes or so, it was a very close race across the board — it looked like any of the models had a solid chance of winning. For much of that time, the Tesla Model S 70/70D was actually #1, the Model X right behind it, and the Leaf or Volt right behind the X, but the positions did change a few times in the first half of the voting. At some point in the second half of the voting, the Model X surged into #1, but it held only a slight lead for a while (i.e., fewer than 10 votes more than the Model S). As the voting grew (and as Model X deliveries and production started to ramp up, allowing us to see more of this beautiful machine and better imagine its potential), the X ran away with the title.

There was some concern expressed about two Teslas being on the list, as they could split Tesla voters somewhat “unfairly.” (I’m sure Tesla haters wouldn’t have minded that.) However, what it came down to for us when choosing the finalists was quite clear: which new or significantly revised model will have the greatest net effect and prevent the most emissions? And even with two Teslas on the list to split the Tesla vote, voters put them at #1 and #2.

model-x-white-800In the end, I’m happy to see that many people agree with me that the Tesla Model X will have the greatest net effect, because I strongly believe it will. It will bring so many more eyes to electric vehicles. It will make so many more people learn about electric vehicles. It will keep so many gas-guzzling SUVs off the market. It will show so many more people the benefits of electric vehicles (e.g., excellent acceleration, smooth and quiet driving, greater convenience, greater safety… + no tailpipe emissions and oil independence). It will again transform opinions of EVs, and will help bring general EV awareness to a large number of people, perhaps stimulating the purchase of one of the other EVs on the market (if they can’t afford a Model X, or simply prefer a different type of vehicle).

There were strong arguments to be made for each model on the list. If there wasn’t a strong case to be made for the model, it wouldn’t have been named a finalist. In a year or so, we can finally take a look at one year of sales of each of these models and get a better sense of how they stack up (when it comes to cutting emissions). In the meantime, congratulations to GM, Nissan, and Tesla for creating competitive electric products that make our world better.

As indicated in the initial article announcing the competition, CleanTechnica will present Tesla with an official award in the flesh. (However, due to unexpected circumstances, the date of delivery may be a bit later in the year — quite fitting for Tesla and the Model X, I guess. 😀 ) 


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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA] — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in this company and feels like it is a good cleantech company to invest in. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort on Tesla or any other company.

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