Our editor-in-chief Zach Shahan previously revealed the 2022 CleanTechnica Car of the Year nominees. Every year, our staff selects the cars with the greatest potential to improve the world that first became accessible between the third quarter of the preceding year and the second quarter of the award year. The criteria for what has the greatest positive influence are intentionally vague because we want readers to make the final decision and determine what they believe had the greatest positive impact on their choice.
The staff nominees for this year were (in alphabetical order):
Ford F-150 Lightning and the Chevy Bolt EUV Infiniti Ioniq 5 EV6 Kia Rivian R1T Even though I recently purchased an EUV, it’s still difficult to choose which of them is the most significant. The Ford F-150 is the most popular vehicle in the country, so releasing an electric version of it may have a significant influence. Although Hyundai and Kia’s vehicles aren’t the most economical on the list, they also include impressive 800-volt battery technology (along with rapid charging, which cautious purchasers use as an excuse) that offers a tremendous value at their asking costs. The R1T also targets outdoor adventurers, a section of the automobile industry that is woefully underserved.
I want to explain why I chose the Bolt EUV in this essay in the hopes of provoking discussion and debate in the comments and on social media. People will vote for other cars as a result of the conversation and argument, but I think that’s okay since that’s what our Car of the Year is all about: your opinions.
THE KEY FACTOR THAT INSPIRED ME TO NOMINATE THE EUV
I’ve brought up the cost issue in a number of posts, but if it came down to only price, there are more effective and widely available Chinese mini-EVs that are less expensive. There are approximately 100 new models that were released this year that I could have included, some of which are even sold in the United States.
However, compared to China, the United States has much higher per-capita emissions. Although we produce less emissions than China as a whole, we still rank second in terms of population. Greater global influence will result from reducing our per-person emissions than from reducing emissions from existing low-emission Chinese families. Additionally, the Chevy Menlo and Buick Velite 7—basically the Chinese cars from which the EUV originated—are already very popular there.
Although I am aware that some people would love it if more Americans simply began biking and taking public transportation, this is a significant structural and cultural problem that cannot be resolved by wishing for it to happen and criticizing cars in the online echo chambers that the anti-car movement inhabits. Therefore, even though electric vehicles aren’t now solving all of the issues with cars in cities, we still need to look at alternative options to reduce pollution.
We need to meet individuals where they are in life in order to encourage Americans to adopt EVs. Certainly, the teenage me would have loved something like a Tesla Roadster, but apart from the issue that it hasn’t yet been released, the adult me is different now than when I was commuting in a Fiero. I need a car that can accommodate kids and/or cargo, has a good range for at least local driving, and is reasonably priced. For the majority of adults, having someone install the home L2 charging is also nice.
Would this year’s other nominees provide the majority of that? Yes, and they frequently have longer ranges and faster charging times. However, they all cost at least $10,000 more than my EUV and perhaps $15,000 or more than the base model EUV with a cloth seat. Since the average new automobile costs over $30,000, many people can afford to buy a more expensive model. However, just because someone can afford something doesn’t imply they want to.
Overall, the EUV provides what people want and need while also costing a price that more people can afford and frequently feel comfortable making payments on. Just because of that, the car has a much greater chance of having an influence than the other cars on the list.
Americans are “coo-coo” for intersections We could speculate on why Americans enjoy crossovers all day. We’re often older and heavier, which makes it simpler to get into and operate the vehicles. We want a cheaper car that doesn’t feel like a truck but still wants to seem like we have an SUV. We want a large interior. We need greater ground clearance for an upcoming off-road excursion (and some of us do). On the road, we don’t want to feel insignificant.
Actually, it’s probably a combination of all of those factors, but in varying proportions for various individuals.
In 2016–2017, GM attempted to position the first Bolt EV as a crossover, but most consumers weren’t duped. Despite being large for a hatchback, the vehicle looked quite similar to the Spark or the Sonic. Simply said, the front hood didn’t look like an SUV to most people because of its sharp slope and aerodynamic appearance. It didn’t help to cover the bottom with black to make it appear as though there was more clearance.
This oversight is corrected by the EUV, which also provides it crossover proportions and back legroom.
The EUV incorporates some of the crossover features that Americans desire, as well as the crossover style, and
Mrs. Potatohead GM even added angry eyes to the front. Without some wrath incorporated into the grille, an SUV is impossible, and the greater the better. Additionally, they glow both at night and during the day ( like the bad guys from Stargate ), allowing us to determine the EUV’s level of rage.
It’s still a charming little crossover, like young Simba , but just assertive enough to avoid being referred to as a hatchback. So while it is a little goofy, it serves its purpose.
Am I being a bit too open-minded here? Yes. I’m even a little annoyed with myself because I still find the item amusing despite having purchased it. But even if it means giving up a few miles of range, that’s the cultural context in which I was raised and currently reside, and it’s what you’ve got to give to make the car sell like hotcakes, cut household emissions, and save the world.
That being the case, I suggested the Bolt EUV. The car that GM should have released in 2017 is now available, and the corporation is selling it for an even lower price. Out of all the alternatives for this year, I believe it will have the biggest good effect on the planet.
Chevrolet provided the main image.
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