This article was originally published by Michael Coates on Clean Fleet Report, a publication that gives its readers the information they need to move to cars and trucks with best fuel economy, including electric cars, fuel cells, plug-in hybrids, hybrids and advanced diesel and gasoline engines.
Every year automotive journalists tee up what they feel are the most significant new models in a contest known as the North American Car of the Year (NACOTY). In spite of the “car” name and in recognition of the diversity of the automotive market, there are three categories—car, utility and truck. For 2021 a total of 27 news vehicles (or vehicle families in some cases) were nominated, including a significant number of electrified models.
Among the eight cars, 15 utility vehicles and four trucks are several stand-outs with electric power. In the Car of the Year group, the all-electric Polestar 2 was nominated along with the new Hyundai Elantra Hybrid.
The utility field includes more contestants than both the car and truck categories combined, which reflects the direction the market is heading right now. Among its 15 nominees are the full electric Ford Mustang Mach-E, the Toyota RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid, Toyota Venza Hybrid and all-electric Volvo XC40 P8 Recharge. In the smaller truck field, Ford’s 2021 F-150 Hybrid will be among those evaluated.
“Many of the new models on our semifinalist list make bold statements that are intended to distinguish them within their segments,” NACTOY President Gary Witzenburg said. “Several are all-electric, while others have groundbreaking designs or off-the-charts capabilities. It will be fascinating to see which risks pay off this year as our evaluation process continues.”
This year’s semifinalists were picked by a jury of 50 jurors from print, online, radio and broadcast media across the U.S. and Canada.
The next step in the awards process is an annual comparison drive that will take place Oct. 5-8, where jurors will have another chance to evaluate the vehicles that made the semifinalists list.
Next, jurors will vote to select three finalists from each category, which will be announced in December during an event hosted by the LA Auto Show. Winners will be announced in January 2021 during an event hosted by the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
We at Clean Fleet Report are not among the jurors, but we have evaluated several of the contenders or reported on them. We’ve linked our stories to mentions above and include them below.
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