By Joey Klender
In a strange turn of events, the Tesla Model 3, a battery-powered electric vehicle, was snubbed in the “Eco-Friendly Car of the Year” award by Cars.com. The winner was the Toyota Corolla Hybrid, but the worst part was that a diesel truck was in the shortlist to win the title of 2020’s most “Eco-Friendly” car.
Cars.com released the award as a part of the 2020 Earth Day celebration. However, the award went to a car that uses carbon-emitting gasoline and a battery. It seems the ideal candidates for the award should have all been electric, but its choices for the “Eco-Friendly” award are questionable at best.
Among the Tesla Model 3 and the Corolla Hybrid, candidates for the Earth-friendly award were the Honda Civic, the Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, and the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Duramax Diesel.
Interestingly enough, Cars.com chose to put a diesel-powered, half-ton pickup truck on a list that consists of small, lightweight sedans with good gas mileage, or in the Model 3’s case, range. Despite being powered by dangerous and not so eco-friendly diesel, the truck managed to make its way onto the automotive firm’s “eco-friendly” list.
Cars.com states its award based its decisions on fuel efficiency, consumer-friendly price, and broad appeal. While all of the vehicles listed have different advantages to consumers across the board, fuel efficiency is undoubtedly one of the more apparent standards that would qualify a car as an eco-friendly mode of transportation. This trait is especially pertinent when handing out an award that will labels vehicles as “eco-friendly.”
According to the motoring agency, the Duramax Diesel appeared on the list because of its fuel economy. “It may seem odd that a diesel half-ton pickup truck was nominated for an eco-friendly award, but there’s a simple reason: fuel economy. The EPA officially rates the 2020 Silverado 1500 diesel at 23/33/27 mpg city/highway/combined for the two-wheel-drive model and 23/29/25 mpg for the 4×4,” the online automotive marketplace wrote.
The Model 3’s complements from Cars.com were short but sweet. After the website recognized the vehicle as “compelling” with “more than enough sales to prove it,” the site chose the Rear Wheel Drive Standard Range+ configuration of the car as with the most efficiency with 141 MPGe, according to FuelEconomy.gov.
Cars.com conducted a survey with EV owners and shoppers to determine the pros and cons of electric car ownership. Reduced fuel cost was considered an advantage by 86% of EV owners, while the environmental impact and reduced maintenance accounted for 73 and 64 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, the high initial price (55%), limited range (44%), and lack of charging stations (40%) were considered as the main drawbacks of EV ownership.
Not all is bad for Tesla or its Model 3, though. In early April, Kelley Blue Book chose Tesla as the winner of 4 of its 5 Luxury Brand awards. Additionally, the Model 3 has received a sizable collection of awards, ranging from the IIHS’ 2020 Top Safety Pick+ award to the 2020 UK Car of the Year.