Hyundai Kona EV Wins 2019 CleanTechnica Car of the Year Award



Published on February 10th, 2019 | by Zachary Shahan

February 10th, 2019 by Zachary Shahan 

In our 2019 competition for the CleanTechnica Car of the Year, CleanTechnica staff lounging next to a rooftop pool on top of a luxury hotel (… or just sitting on our computers from the banal surroundings of our own homes …) came up with a list of the 5 new vehicles most likely to have a positive effect on society.

We then put that list of vehicles out in front of your eyeballs to choose a winner, via a simple one-question survey.

As the headline and picture above makes clear, the Hyundai Kona EV won the reader vote. It took in a sizable 42% of the vote.

The Kona EV’s close cousin, the Kia e-Niro, took the #2 spot with another 23% of the vote. Perhaps if the e-Niro’s pricing was out earlier, it could have given the Kona EV a better race for #1. We’ll see by the end of 2019 which model is picking up more sales steam (or electricity) and have a better sense if the Kona EV really deserved the win or if the e-Niro was more deserving of your votes. Until then, a big congrats to Hyundai for winning its first CleanTechnica Car of the Year award.

Third place was a close call between the Jaguar I-PACE (14%), which has put a big spark into Jaguar’s brand and global sales, and the Audi e-tron (12%), which is a key milestone EV in a popular car class that is a cornerstone of Audi’s efforts to revive its brand and hopefully lead in the new EV era. Again, we’ll have a better sense of which of these vehicles seems more skilled at positively shaping the future of society by the end of 2019. It should be a close call.

The Nissan LEAF e+, with just 9% of the vote, was probably crippled by the fact that it’s an iteration on the oldest EV model on the market. Perhaps people didn’t see the improvements as significant enough of a differentiator from previous versions of the model. Or perhaps voters are still unsatisfied with Nissan’s battery management system and/or think that the LEAF e+ simply isn’t as competitive or influential as the other EV finalists. Nonetheless, the LEAF e+ should see strong sales in 2019, probably more than any of the other vehicles on this list. Ironic, isn’t it?

That said, I also voted for the Kona EV. I consider its styling, class, range, and price to be superb and presume that it could be the top selling vehicle on the finalist list if Hyundai secured enough batteries and really tried to sell the thing. My biggest concern is that Hyundai won’t secure a high number of batteries and won’t really try to sell the thing. We’ll see. 


Tags: audi, audi e-tron, CleanTechnica Car of the Year, CleanTechnica Car of the Year Award, Hyundai, Hyundai Kona, Hyundai Kona EV, jaguar, Jaguar I-Pace, kia, Kia e-Niro, Nissan, Nissan Leaf, Nissan LEAF e+

About the Author

Zachary Shahan Zach is tryin’ to help society help itself (and other species). He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. He’s also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don’t jump to conclusions.

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