AAA unveils top electric, hybrid and fuel-efficient vehicles

 A new AAA study reveals that consumer interest in electric vehicles remains high, showing that more than 30 million Americans are likely to buy an electric vehicle for their next car. In fact, the number of Americans interested in an electric vehicle approaches the number that is 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.

“Electric vehicles have become more affordable, attractive, and they include innovative technology,” said Montrae Waiters, spokeswoman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Many consumers view electric vehicles as the cars of the future, but AAA still encourages consumers to do their homework when choosing an EV to determine whether or not it is a good fit for their lifestyle.”

AAA found consumers who want to purchase electric and hybrid vehicles are more concerned with the long-term benefits like reducing their carbon footprints, fuel economy, and charging station infrastructure.

“Electric Vehicles are energy efficient, and environmentally friendly,” continued Waiters. “Potential buyers also like the fact that electric vehicles require less maintenance than internal combustion engines.”

With a focus on the future, the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center rates and ranks electric vehicles, hybrids, compressed natural gas-powered (CNG), diesels and high fuel economy gasoline-powered vehicles for the annual AAA Green Car Guide.  Vehicles are rated on the criteria that matter most to car buyers, including ride quality, safety and performance.

In 2017, the following vehicles earned AAA’s Top Green Vehicle award:

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

Winners, detailed evaluation criteria, vehicle reviews and an in-depth analysis of the green vehicle industry can be found at www.AAA.com/greencar .

While electric vehicles are an attractive option for car shoppers, AAA found that more than half of Americans are hesitant to make the switch due to “range anxiety” – the concern over running out of charge or having too few locations to charge a vehicle. This fear persists despite the fact that U.S. drivers report an average round-trip commute length (31 miles) and time (46 minutes) that are well within the range of the more than 100 miles of range that most electric vehicles offer.

U.S. drivers report average daily work commutes of 46 miles round trip, driving and average of 31 minutes

  • The average reported commute time and distance is within range of most electric vehicles sold.
  • Almost 4 out of 5 (78%) U.S. drivers report commutes of an hour or less, round trip. One-in-five (22%) report commutes of greater than one hour round trip.
  • The majority (66%) U.S. drivers report commutes of under 30 miles round trip, while 17 percent report commutes of between 31 and 60 miles. Only 17 percent of U.S. drivers report commutes of more than 60 miles round trip daily.

To assist with range anxiety, members and non-members can find electric vehicle charging stations along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app also can be used to fine electric vehicle charging stations located at specific AAA branches; as well as, find current gas prices, map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at www.AAA.com/mobile. For information on becoming a member, please visit www.AAA.com.

Safe Driving Tips for Electric Vehicle Drivers

  • Motorists should keep electric vehicle parked in cool place. Electric vehicle drivers should keep their vehicle in the garage or the shade to reduce the internal temperature, and cool the interior while the vehicle is plugged in to reduce the drain on the battery.
  • Ensure your EV battery is properly charged. This ensures your car is ready to drive whenever you need it.
  • Map out trip. Motorist should make sure there are electric vehicles charging stations on their routes. Mapping tools such as the AAA TripTik® Travel Planner pinpoint charging stations to keep motorists on the go.
  • Tire pressure. Proper tire pressure on electric vehicles is a benefit just as it is for gas vehicles. Fuel economy is reduced as rolling resistance increases — soft tires make your vehicle work harder.

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