Tesla takes two top spots in AAA’s Top Green Vehicle award

AAA released its “Top Green Vehicle award” based on its evaluations of plug-in electric vehicles and other “green cars”. Tesla took two of the top spots, including overall best for the Model X 75D and best green “large car” for the Model S 60.

With the awards, the non-profit automobile association released a study based on a survey of its members in order to gauge “consumer interest in electric vehicles”.

We published a similar study with respondents mostly from the Generations X and Y yesterday. The result was that 30% of them are inclined to buy an electric vehicle over a gas-powered car if they are priced competitively.

AAA’s survey came up with 15% of all respondents and 20% of millennials, but they are interpreting the numbers positively since they are growing despite the market conditions:

“Despite the fact that gas prices are about 40 percent lower than five years ago, AAA found that consumer interest in electric vehicles and hybrids has not waned. In fact, the number of Americans interested in an electric vehicle approaches the number planning to purchase a pickup truck, with the survey showing that 15 percent are likely to buy an electric vehicle for their next car. Millennials are even more accepting of electric vehicles, with nearly one-in-five interested in going electric for their next car.”

Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of Automotive Engineering, is on board for the electric revolution and he credits Tesla for accelerating the transition:

“With their lower ownership costs and compatibility with emerging autonomous technologies, electric vehicles are poised to be a key vehicle of the future. Tesla — a standout in AAA’s evaluations — has helped widen the appeal of electric vehicles by showing they can be stylish, performance-focused and filled with cutting-edge technology.”

AAA’s evaluations are performed by the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center and based on “the criteria that matter most to car buyers, including ride quality, safety and performance.”

The Tesla Model X 75D took the top spot for SUVs and overall best, while the Chevy Bolt EV, specifically the higher-end “Premier” trim, grabbed the honors in the subcompact category and the Tesla Model S 60 in large car. Here’s the full list:

Category Winner
Overall Tesla Model X 75D
Subcompact Car Chevy Bolt EV Premier
Compact Car Volkswagen e-Golf SE
Midsize Car Lexus GS 450h F Sport
Large Car Tesla Model S 60
Pickup Ford F150 XLT Super Crew
SUV Tesla Model X 75D

AAA still sees range anxiety a problem for most short-range electric vehicles, hence why they are not on the list, but they see it more as a problem with perception. Brannon explained:

“Range anxiety stems from seeing gas stations, not charging stations, on every corner. While electric vehicles may not yet fit every lifestyle, the number of charging stations has quadrupled over the last five years and battery ranges support average commutes.”

They even started a program with emergency electric vehicle charging trucks to help EV owners stranded, but it’s not seeing much use.

Hopefully, new electric vehicles that are planned to come to market in the next few years can beat the non-electric vehicles on that list of “green cars”.


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