The Tesla Model X was the overall top pick in the Automobile Association of America (AAA)’s Green Car Guide this year. Last year, the AAA Green Car of the Year was the Model S 70D. This year, according to AAA testers, the Model X was the best choice among the 65 cars that they tested.
Tesla Model X and Model S won in three categories
The AAA Green Car Guide is published every year by the largest member of the AAA, the Automobile Club of Southern California and its Automotive Research Center. It’s a comprehensive report about the best cars in categories like compact cars, subcompact cars, large cars, SUVs, mid-sized cars, pickups, and the overall best car. The cars that are tested by the AAA federation include fuel-efficient internal combustion cars, full-battery electric vehicles, hybrids and alternative fuel-based cars.
In the report, the Tesla Model S and Model X claimed three of the seven top spots. The 60-kilowatt hour Model S won in the best large car category, while the 75-kilowatt hour Model X won in the best SUV category and the overall category.
The Lexus GS 450h F Sport won the best midsize car category, while the subcompact car category was won by the Chevy Bolt EV Premier. The Ford F150 XLT Super Crew took the top spot in the pickup category, while the Volkswagen e-Golf SE won the title for compact car.
Greg Brannon, Director of Automotive Engineering for AAA, told CNBC that the Automobile Association of America uses a collection of quantitative measures to evaluate vehicles. Important criteria include safety, performance and ride quality. The vehicles are test-driven on AAA’s test track in Southern California.
AAA sees a bright future for EVs
The AAA consumer survey, which was released on Tuesday, found that nearly 15% of people living in the U.S. are likely to purchase an electric car as their next vehicle. The percentage is similar to the number of consumers who plan to purchase a pickup truck instead. Further, the survey found that Millennials are more accepting of EVs, with almost one in five interested in going electric for their next vehicle. Though there is a lot of interest in electric vehicles among Americans, more than 50% are hesitant to buy an EV due to concerns that the battery will run out of charge.
The findings of the AAA survey may look moderate, but AAA says that it sees a bright future for electric cars, notes Fortune. Consumer interest in EVs has not depreciated in the past five years, even though gas prices have dropped 40% since 2012.
“With their lower ownership costs and compatibility with emerging autonomous technologies, electric vehicles are poised to be a key vehicle of the future,” Brannon said.
On Monday, Tesla shares closed down 0.84% at $301.44. Year to date, the stock is up more than 41%, while in the last year, it is up more than 18%.