EV Cars

Green Car Reports names 4 finalists

Once again, Green Car Reports will decide which of this year’s new vehicles are the cleanest, most environmentally friendly and best suited for a gentle approach when thinking about the entire ownership experience.

One of them will be named “Best Car To Buy 2024” on January 3rd, according to Green Car Report. To kick off the competition, we’ll be taking a closer look at each of these models over the next few weeks.

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 6

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 6

The Ioniq 6 makes a bold design statement, and whether you view its teardrop-shaped tail and low nose as Porsche-like or an homage to Art Deco streamliners, it’s refreshing in an EV cohort that has too many lookalikes contains. These outstanding aerodynamics and the 800-volt Hyundai E-GMP platform on which it is based help to achieve high efficiency and range figures that exceed those of the Tesla Model 3. It is also Hyundai’s first electric vehicle to enable over-the-air updates for the entire vehicle. Hyundai is also following Tesla in price cuts, with one 2024 Ioniq 6 starting price well under $40,000.

2024 Kia ​​EV9

2024 Kia ​​EV9

A large, comfortable electric SUV with three rows of seats? Bi-directional charging for home backup and power? Over-the-air updates? Fast roadside charging at 10-80% in under 25 minutes? It turns out that the Kia EV9 offers all of these things without paying a luxury price tag, even with the base model at $56,395. Opting for the larger battery (up to 304 EPA miles) and dual-motor all-wheel drive means you get a faster all-weather machine with a degree of off-road capability that overall could work well as a primary family vehicle.

2023 Nissan Ariya e-4orce

2023 Nissan Ariya e-4orce

The Ariya launched late last year, and while this front-wheel drive model is smooth and refined, it’s the Ariya’s e-4orce all-wheel drive system that shows this model at its best. With intelligent chassis derived from Nissan’s GT-R supercar and adapted to the response times of electric motors, the e-4orce has the ability to use its dual-motor system not only for traction, but also for unsettled ride qualities to neutralize off-road and help the SUV through curves. The Ariya looks great on the outside, but it’s even better on the inside, with a super-quiet cabin, a warm atmosphere and an upscale appearance that extends from the interface to the elbow touch points. There hasn’t been a more cohesive Nissan, electric or not, in a generation.

2023 Toyota Prius Prime

2023 Toyota Prius Prime

In its previous two generations, the plug-in Prius failed to rack up enough electric miles to cover the average American daily commute of about 32 miles. But this time the numbers are more attractive for those who simply don’t want to burn gasoline on weekdays. The 2024 Prius Prime delivers up to 45 miles on electric power according to the EPA and achieves an EPA rating of 52 mpg combined after using that charge – something that can be compared to the 2016 Chevy Volt and its 53 miles and 42 mpg ratings . The Prius also manages to hit that household sweet spot at a price starting at $34,000 – about the same numerical base price as the 2016 Chevy Volt, but a much better deal when adjusted for inflation.

But that’s just one part of the story. The latest Prius Prime offers a sexier design, a futuristic design that returns to the Prius form and significantly improved performance that sets new standards for this eco-warrior. Numbers or not, how does it all fit together in 2024?

Green Car Report 2024 “Best Car To Buy” test

Green Car Report 2024 “Best Car To Buy” test

How We Choose Green Car Reports’ Best Car To Buy

What is green and what is not?

We know that assembling an electric vehicle, manufacturing the battery and sourcing the materials for it increases the vehicle’s carbon footprint. These impacts are offset within a few years of the electric vehicle’s lifespan compared to gasoline models.

Additionally, preventing exhaust emissions has an immediate and positive impact on the health of your community.

A number of extensive peer-reviewed papers and respected scientific sources agree that electric vehicles are better for the environment in the vast majority of typical use cases.

Put PHEVs on ice

Green Car Reports continues to cover different types of hybrid and plug-in hybrid technology in vehicles. While it gets complicated, we respect that an all-or-nothing approach is not always the best way to electrify the fleet and that the next best option is often better than not choosing a greener option at all.

Based on upcoming California requirements, many PHEVs will continue to move in two directions in the coming years. On the one hand, there will be efficiency-focused PHEVs that aim to eclipse internal combustion engines by offering more electric mileage. There will also be greener but non-polluting options – other high-performance PHEVs that essentially use charging ports instead of large-displacement engines and allow electric miles in modes that owners might never use.

2023 Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid

2023 Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid

Aside from the latter, plug-in hybrids remain an interesting choice, particularly when the charging infrastructure simply doesn’t meet the demands of weekend trips but drivers are committed to remaining emissions-free while commuting.

All in all, bringing another vehicle with an internal combustion engine into service as a potential source of emissions for decades represents a high hurdle to make the shortlist of our “Best Car To Buy” list.

Range is important, but efficiency is key

In the past, we have limited our list of qualified electric vehicles to those that have a range of at least 125 miles. But as fast-charging systems become more widespread — including the government-backed fast-charging network with chargers every 50 miles — shorter-range electric vehicles with smaller battery packs may also be among the greenest options in some homes. If families also build second (and third) vehicles fully electric, who needs that much range in each vehicle?

Yes, we chose the reigning range champion, the Lucid Air, two years ago, but it wouldn’t have made it to the top if it wasn’t also one of the most efficient electric vehicles.

Consider the market impact

The best car you can buy has to have a big impact on the market (short or long term). This could be interpreted as betting on volume and affordability, making a new market segment electric, or setting a new standard for efficiency or technology. It has to be the best, but as we’ve seen from over a dozen bakers Past Best Car To Buy winnersthis can take many different forms.

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