You know electric vehicles are going mainstream when AAA (The American Automobile Association) names one of them their overall best car of the year. This time, the Ford Mustang Mach-E rose to the top of AAA’s Car Guide by scoring the most points, securing the best car overall spot.
“Electric car sales, though small, are growing, and the signs are everywhere that the future is electric,” said Megan McKernan, manager of AAA’s Automotive Research Center. “And that future may come faster as consumer preferences change due to factors such as high gas prices and the gradual phasing out of gasoline-powered vehicles in some areas.”
It was not an easy task to secure first place. The Mustang Mach-E was pitted against almost every other car on the market. In creating the annual AAA Car Guide, the employees of the Automotive Research Center take every recent new vehicle since the publication of the guide the previous year and subjected it to a comprehensive review. The car is rated in 12 areas, including the number of ADAS safety features, fuel economy, emissions, braking, handling, ride quality and acceleration.
Then each vehicle is placed in one of 5 categories: small, medium, large, pickup and SUV/minivan. There are also 3 price categories. This year, the Mach-E won the Minivan/SUV category, Best Over $50k and Overall Vehicle. Every other category was won by an electric vehicle, a PHEV or a hybrid vehicle. This really shows us where the industry is heading.
The overall results for all categories were:
- Overall: 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium AWD (Electric)
- Small: BMW 330e 2021 (plug-in hybrid)
- Medium: 2021 BMW 530e (plug-in hybrid)
- Large: 2021 Mercedes-Benz S580 4MATIC Sedan (Hybrid)
- Pickup: 2021 Ford F-150 XLT SuperCrew Hybrid 4×4
- SUV/Minivan: 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium AWD (Electric)
- Best Under $35K: 2021 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid Limited
- Best $35K – $50K: 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 1st Edition (Electric)
- Best Over $50K: 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium AWD (Electric)
Do you disagree with the results of AAA? Make sure you read the criteria here before tearing them a new one. While CleanTechnica’s readers and authors would probably choose something else for most or all of these categories, AAA targets a much wider audience that doesn’t place as much emphasis on environmental issues and efficiency. For the average driver, the gas-powered F-150 is a fine vehicle. Do not believe me? It is the best-selling vehicle in the United States, in all categories.
Things that larger gas-powered vehicles prefer, such as visibility (a key driver cites for driving trucks and SUVs on the commute), a smooth ride where you don’t feel or hear many bumps in the road, and payload (which interferes with aerodynamic efficiency in many cases) are all big components of a vehicle’s score. This was created to reflect the preferences of the average driver, and not the same preferences we would choose here.
Despite this, one EV won the overall score and another EV (the Volkswagen ID.4) won a category. Hybrids and plug-in hybrids won out the rest. This shows that not only are automakers getting better at offering cleaner vehicles to customers who really want them, but customers are also moving more toward clean vehicles. This shows us how much progress we have made.
Featured image provided by Ford.
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