The Top Five Plug-in Vehicles of 2017
As I have written more and more for The News Wheel, I have found myself turning into the plug-in car guy. So, as we are approaching the end of this landmark year in the development of the electric car market, I found myself wondering, what were the top plug-in (meaning electric and plug-in hybrid) cars for this year?
Presented in alphabetical order, here is my answer.
The Chevy Bolt first hit a few markets at the very end of last year, but its real nationwide rollout came over the course of 2017. I give it a spot on this list for being the first mass-market-priced all-electric vehicle to come with more than 200 miles of range, rivaled only by the Tesla Model 3 for price and range together, although the Model 3 has only shipped in small numbers.
Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
This is probably the most unique vehicle on this list, because it is the only plug-in hybrid minivan on the market. This is probably the most affordable plug-in people-mover (compared to, say, the Volvo XC90 Twin-Engine), and despite some disappointing points like its lack of a driver-selectable electric mode and its early propulsion problems, it gets extra brownie points for blazing a new trail.
I have to admit, I was a little bit shaky on including the new Nissan LEAF on this list, because I thought that the company should have shot higher on its range goals, but I have to give the LEAF some credit for being the grandpappy of all the other electrics on this list. While I wish it had a higher range than the promised 150 miles, I can at least appreciate what Nissan is going for in claiming the mid-range so it can offer it for a lower MSRP. Plus, it has a NISMO version, so that’s fun, even if it’s only a concept.
Tesla Model 3
The hype surrounding the Tesla Model 3 has been unmatched by any other plug-in car on the market, and it definitely hits the twin good points of affordable price and over-200-mile range. Sadly, rollout has been slow so far as the company works on ramping up production, but at least it got a lot of people thinking about electric vehicles and how cool they can be.
Toyota Prius Prime
Ah, the Prius Prime—Toyota’s grand rebranding of the pitiful Prius Plug-in. With the legacy of the classic hybrid Prius behind it and a comfortable 25 miles of electric range, I even would say that the Prius Prime has a definite chance of defeating my old favorite of the Chevy Volt (although I would personally choose the Volt, for reasons I talked about the other day).
Daniel Susco is a native of the Dayton-Cincinnati area, and has written on a multitude of subjects. He can discuss Shakespeare, expound on Classical Mythology, and even make witty jokes about Pliny the Elder (More like “Pliny the Rounder,” right?). In his free time, Daniel enjoys reading, cooking, woodworking, and long walks on the beach (just kidding – sunburn is no joke). See more articles by Daniel.