Hybrid and electric vehicles are in demand due to gas prices surging this year. For consumers considering buying one, U.S. News and World Report has issued its list of best choices after evaluating 82 vehicles across eight categories.
While Tesla may be synonymous with electric vehicles in many people’s minds, Toyota had the most first-place finishes of any brand. It took home the Best Hybrid Car award, with the Toyota Prius, and the Best Hybrid SUV award, with the RAV4 Hybrid.
The Kia EV6 won the Best Electric Vehicle award, the Hyundai Tucson Hybrid won the Best Plug-In Hybrid award, and the Volvo S60 took home the award for Best Luxury Plug-In Hybrid.
“The 2022 Kia EV6 has a lengthy driving range, spry handling, many active safety features, and a premium cabin with comfy seats but also a rather small cargo area,” the judges wrote. “The brand-new 2022 Tucson Hybrid features a lively powertrain, a posh interior, two rows of spacious, comfortable seats, and a stellar safety score. For these reasons and more, it stands tall near the top of the hybrid SUV class.”
Tesla did win in one of the categories, with the Tesla Model Y being named the Best Luxury Electric SUV. The Lexus ES Hybrid – another Toyota product – was named the Best Luxury Hybrid.
Increase in demand
U.S. News selected the 2022 Best Hybrid and Electric Car winners based on a combination of the cars' overall score from the U.S. News Best Car Rankings, starting price, Level 2 charging rate, fuel economy, and range data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The judges looked at data for 82 luxury and mainstream hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric cars. Within each of the eight categories, the vehicle with the highest composite score won the category.
"There's been a significant increase in the demand for electric vehicles, and they have more appeal than ever as gas prices rise and consumers look for cars with a low carbon footprint," says Jim Sharifi, managing editor of U.S. News Best Cars. "The winners of the Best Hybrid and Electric Car awards deliver a rewarding ownership experience, as well as low emissions and fuel costs."
Good luck finding one to buy
Finding one of these cars may prove difficult because of their sudden popularity and the new car shortage, which may not be ending anytime soon. Jason Puckett, president of Toyota Alabama, said this week that the industry is still being held back by a shortage of computer chips.
Puckett said the shortage of computer chips has been made worse by the war in Ukraine because the country is a major supplier of materials needed for chip production.
“Supplies are still a challenge, it’s still a struggle with chips,” Puckett said at an event in Huntsville, Ala. “I think it’s going to go on for a while. And it’s not going to be a solution that any automaker finds in the next few months. So it continues to be a challenge.”