It’s time for another CleanTechnica Car of the Year competition! The CleanTechnica team has come up with 5 electric vehicles that are our finalists or nominees for this year’s award, but voters — you — get to choose the winner. Before we get to the models and voting, though, let’s run through the rules.
The main aim is to pick the vehicle that we expect to have the largest net positive impact on the world. That can mean the electric vehicle that is expected to get the most sales and thus replace the most fossil fueled vehicles, or it can mean that we think the vehicle is transformative and will influence the auto industry beyond simply sales. It’s your call to decide which of the finalists you think will have the most impact.
In terms of candidates, the models have to arrive on the market in the last two quarters of the previous year (2021 in this case) or the first two quarters of the award year (2022 in this case).
So, on to our 2022 finalists! (I’m going in alphabetical order, not favoring any specific model.)
Chevy Bolt EUV
The Chevy Bolt EV has long been on the market, but the Chevy Bolt EUV brings that all-popular small-SUV/crossover appeal. It’s also one of the most affordable long-range electric cars on the market. It has a starting MSRP of just $27,200! That’s with an EPA-estimated driving range of 247 miles (398 km). How competitive is this? Well, it’s competitive enough that when our writer Jennifer Sensiba went to choose a new car recently, she chose a Bolt EUV. You can explore all of the Bolt EUV’s specs and features over on the Chevy Bolt EUV webpage.
Ford F-150 Lightning
Going in a very different direction, we’ve got the Ford F-150 Lightning. Naturally, with the F-150 being one of the top selling vehicles in the world in recent decades, an electric version of it is something important. Furthermore, in our opinion, Ford nailed it with this vehicle. From its many power outlets, to its vehicle-to-home/vehicle-to-load capability, to its power and driving qualities, the Lightning has garnered a lot of enthusiasm. And Ford responded by nearly doubling its initial annual production target for the electric pickup truck.
The commercially oriented Ford F-150 Lightning Pro starts at a ridiculous $39,974 and has 230 miles (370 km) of range, while the F-150 Lightning XLT starts at $52,974 and there are higher trims with more features and higher specs. Explore the various options on Ford’s website.
Hyundai IONIQ 5
The Hyundai IONIQ 5 is one of the most unique or futuristic looking models to hit the market in recent years. It offers a cool, fun, airy interior to go along with the eye-catching exterior, and it comes with 220 miles (354 km) of range at its starting MSRP of $39,950. Trims with 303 miles (488 km) of range start at $44,000. For a fee, you can add a Head-Up Display (HUD) to your IONIQ, and it has a great panoramic detection feature and advanced but not too outlandish infotainment screen. Explore more of the features, design, and trims of the IONIQ 5 on Hyundai’s website.
The IONIQ 5’s close cousin, the Kia EV6, offers a similarly futuristic package but with significantly different styling. Which one pulls on your heart strings more? However, a bit different from the IONIQ 5, the lowest-cost trim starts slightly higher at $41,400 but has a base range rating of 310 miles (499 km) instead of 220 miles. You also have the option to get a Head-Up Display (HUD). I’m in love. Look at more photos, videos, and details of the EV6 on Kia’s website.
Last but not least, we have the Rivian R1T. After a bit of delay, the R1T is really starting to hit the market. Admittedly, I was never that drawn to the look of the truck … until I saw it in person. I do think it looks like a great pickup truck out in the real world, and a beast of one. It also has great features for powering all kinds of tools or camping equipment, and an interesting and useful big storage space (“gear tunnel”) between the cab and the bed of the truck. The R1T is an interesting case of a vehicle that comes across both as very luxurious and super utilitarian — not an easy feat to pull off. Furthermore, it’s got power galore! The one downside — for this award competition at least — is that there’s no cheap version of the R1T. The starting price is $73,000. But … did the Rivian R1T inspire the Ford F-150 Lighting and Chevy Silverado EV? Maybe … maybe not. It’s your call. You can explore the R1T webpage while you ruminate on that.
Those are our 5 finalists for the 2022 CleanTechnica Car of the Year award. Voting takes place here (click that link or use the embedded survey below — just be sure to click the “Done” button when finished):
Let us know down in the comments if you want to tell us who you voted for and why, or if you want to chime in on any of these vehicles in other ways.
And, naturally, if you think we missed some major vehicles, feel free to unleash some steam on our ill informed choices or lack of choices. I should note a blatant handicap and bias in this competition before I get eaten alive. Our audience is about 50% American and about 50% spread widely across the world. We focus this award on the US market, where most of our main writers live and by far the largest bulk of our readers live. The Chinese EV market is clearly the most mature with the most EV choices, and there are many new electric vehicles there that could certainly hold their own in this competition if not win it. However, these models are primarily just available in China and we have very few Chinese readers. The European market is somewhere in between, and we do have plenty of European readers, but if a model isn’t available in the US, it just seems weird and unnatural to include it in our competition. Maybe my opinion will shift by the time we do the 2023 competition. Or maybe … we’ll also launch Chinese & European editions of this award series. Stay tuned!
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