2023 CleanTechnica Car of the Year Finalists — Europe

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As I noted a few hours ago when announcing the finalists for 2023 CleanTechnica Car of the Year in the USA, it’s time to finalize CleanTechnica Car of the Year winners! We have decided to do two separate awards this year — one for the USA and one for Europe. In this article, I’m including the finalists for the European award and a poll for you to vote for your choice. Before introducing the cars and commencing the voting, though, let’s take a quick look at the rules.

The main aim is to choose the vehicle that we think will 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 its own sales alone. It’s your call to decide which of the finalists you think will have the most impact. This year, though, since we’re doing region-specific awards, the task is to pick the vehicle you think will have the most positive impact on the world from within the boundaries of the award region (in other words, if one model is also being sold in China and the others aren’t, that doesn’t give the model sold in China any advantage in this competition).

In terms of candidates, the models have to arrive on the market in the last two quarters of the previous year (2022 in this case) or the first two quarters of the award year (2023 in this case).

Also, I should note, anyone is free to vote. You don’t have to be from or living in the region in question to vote for what you think will be the most positively impactful vehicle.

The European competition, as you’ll see, is a bit more interesting than the US competition. Europe has many, many more electric vehicle models to choose from. As such, it was harder to narrow down the finalists, and what we ended up with was 7 finalists instead of 4. Good luck voting on this one!

Also, note that I’m including the lower-priced, lower-range options here for comparison. With all of the models, you can pay more for a bigger battery and more range if you so choose.

The BYD Atto 3 is one of the world’s top selling EVs along with its Chinese twin, the Yuan Plus (#7 combined). The Atto 3 is just the export version of the Yuan Plus, and it’s being shipped to a bunch of different countries now. The question here is how much of an impact the Chinese EV will have in Europe. Naturally, the car costs more in Europe than in China, which makes it less of an obvious buy, but it’s still good value for the money.

Key specs and pricing:

  • Starting Price = £37,195 / €43,000 in NL / €44,625 in Germany
  • WLTP Range = 261 miles / 420 km
  • Max Charging Rate = 89 kW

The Volkswagen ID. Buzz has been one of the most hyped and anticipated EVs of the past several years. It tugs on the heart strings of our 1970s roots — our collective roots. It has always had great appeal to many of us. And it’s finally here! That said, it doesn’t have what its somewhat ancient ancestor had — a low price. It’s quite expensive. I still think it can have a big impact and is an iconic vehicle for the new EV age. But does it have the right combo to win the CleanTechnica Car of the Year award in Europe? You decide!

Key specs and pricing:

  • Starting Price = £58,915 / €66,160 in NL / €64,581 in Germany
  • WLTP Range = 263 miles / 423 km
  • Max Charging Rate = 175 kW

Then there’s what Jo and I called “everyone’s favorite EV,” the Ora Funky Cat. It’s true — it’s not the best selling EV. Nonetheless, how can anyone not love this thing. Talk about nailing a combo of a retro and futuristic look. The price helps its case a lot, too. Again, this is a successful Chinese model trying to make its way in Europe, and we’re yet to see what that means in the end, but I’m hopeful for this cute, fun, European-sized EV. The problem: it doesn’t come with a great deal of range. But that’s also why it’s quite cheap.

Key specs and pricing:

  • Starting Price = £31,995 / €38,990 in Germany
  • WLTP Range = 162 miles / 260 km
  • Max Charging Rate = 64 kW

The Nissan Ariya is in a popular vehicle class and comes from an early BEV leader (rather than an early hybrid leader). It’s trying to be the perfect match of size, shape, specs, and price. It may not be the Tesla Model Y, but it’s an alternative in that region that some will surely prefer. The funny thing is the BYD Atto 3 offers a little more range at a little lower price, but the Ariya charges faster and comes from a more established brand in Europe. It’s an interesting competition just in terms of that head to head, let alone all of the other models.

Key specs and pricing:

  • Starting Price = £39,645 / €44,990 in NL / €47,490 in Germany
  • WLTP Range = 251 miles / 404 km
  • Max Charging Rate = 130 kW

Now this one’s a beauty. The NIO ET7 is one of the most beautiful cars on the market in my eyes. Inside and out, it’s just very well done. It is a slick, sweet model that marries top tech and traditional comfort elegantly. The model offers more luxury and features than several other cars in this competition … but it also comes at a higher price. It’s hard to compare across classes, but that’s what we’re doing here! Is the ET7 going to grow into a big hit in its segment in Europe? Is the EV going to influence the market and accelerate trends in this segment? Is it going to be one of the landmark cars that bring Chinese EVs into the mainstream in Europe?

Key specs and pricing:

  • Starting Price = (not in UK yet) / €84,900 in NL / €81,900 in Germany
  • WLTP Range = 277 miles / 445 km
  • Max Charging Rate = 140 kW

Or is it the MG4 that’s more likely to shake things up in Europe under the older MG badge? Did I say the ET7 looked good? Because I think the MG4 is even much better looking than that, and despite being in a crossover body that normally isn’t as attractive. On the inside, it’s certainly much more basic, but that comes with the price — and the exterior might make up for it. What we can say is about the MG4 that gives it an extra boost is that it is already a top seller in Europe — 7th in the plugin vehicle market in the first 11 months of 2023.

Key specs and pricing:

  • Starting Price = £29,495 / €35,785 in NL / €39,990 in Germany
  • WLTP Range = 280 miles / 450 km
  • Max Charging Rate = 140 kW

Last but not least is the Hyundai IONIQ 6. This sedan has a futuristic look that’s also a bit of a throwback to the GM EV1. It’s hyper efficient, yet offers more space inside than the exterior implies. It’s fun, safe, and zippy. What more do you need? (Don’t say a higher seating position on the road). I think it’s also notable that this model really catches the eye, potentially helping to educate people about EVs. However, is it a bit too expensive in Europe to win this award? Or do a lot of buyers really need all of the range and the faster charging speed that the IONIQ 6 offers compared to other models here? Hyundai has done well for years in the EV market, and the IONIQ 6 is a continuation of that, but how big of an impact will it have? More than all of the models above? Well, that’s for you to decide! I have to admit that this is the most difficult competition for CleanTechnica Car of the Year that I ever remember.

Key specs and pricing (in this case, I’m including numbers for the Long Range 2WD version since the Standard Range version is not available in the UK):

  • Starting Price = £47,040 / €50,895 in NL / €54,00 in Germany
  • WLTP Range = 382 miles / 614 km (by far the most of any model in the competition)
  • Max Charging Rate = 233 kW (by far the highest of any model in the competition)

Note that all of the models have 5-star Euro NCAP safety ratings.

You can vote on the finalists here or via the embedded poll below. Just be sure to click “Done” when done.

Create your own user feedback survey

Tip of the hat to EV Database for helping with many of the stats.


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Zachary Shahan

Zach 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], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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