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).