The Sierra Club marked Earth Day on Monday with an updated consumer’s guide to electric vehicles.
The interactive guide offers information on dozens of plug-in vehicles. There’s a quick questionnaire that helps to match a person’s driving habits and pocketbook to a selection of vehicles that most meet his or her needs.
By using their Zip codes, users can also find out what governmental policies and financial incentives are available. The guide will even analyze fuel savings compared with popular gas-powered vehicles in that area and calculate the vehicle’s emissions efficiency based on how green your area’s energy supply is. Since the Sierra Club’s last update in 2015, an additional 20 vehicles have been added to the guide.
I filled out the form saying that I generally take daily trips of fewer than 50 miles but wanted a vehicle that would be suitable for five people on a road trip. When I said that I also wanted better fuel efficiency than 40 miles per gallon and a price tag of $30,000 or less, the guide shot back 15 vehicles.
The priciest was the Kia Niro at $30,000, including a $7,500 federal tax credit, according to the guide. The cheapest was the Hyundai Ioniq PHEV at nearly $21,000, after a $4,543 federal tax credit was thrown in. The guide also gave each vehicle’s range and noted whether the vehicles were available nationwide (yes for the Hyundai — but only 12 states, including Maryland, for the Kia Niro).
When the guide first came out in 2013, there were exactly two vehicles on the market, a spokeswoman said. Today, there are more than 40.
The guide also lists several 2018 models that the organization plans to analyze and rate, such as the BMW 530e, the Chevrolet Spark, Porsche Panamera 4 E-H, and the Tesla Model 3. You can find the guide here.