When you complete your training to become a mechanic and join the ranks of other qualified auto technicians, you’ll discover that hybrid, electric and other eco-conscious car models are becoming increasingly popular. There are now more “green” cars to choose from than ever before, and graduates of car sales training programs know that dealerships will only continue to see green vehicles roll onto the sales lot in forthcoming years.
So what vehicle best represents what it means to be green? This year, the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) say that it’s the Kia Soul EV.
Green Car of the Year Award
The AJAC is comprised of 70 automotive journalists from across the country. Every year, they meet in Niagara Falls, Ontario and vote on the Car of the Year and Utility Vehicle of the Year. This year though, they decided to try something different and add a Green Car of the Year award to the lineup.
Their criteria, though, isn’t strictly environmental. Instead, the green-ness of the vehicle, be it a hybrid, fully electric, or even a gas car with good fuel economy, is combined with its value as a car overall. Price and performance also factor in. According to AJAC, the winner must be “a vehicle which, for its size and purpose, provides the Canadian consumer with environmentally friendly returns that compare favourably with other vehicles in its class.”
The other three finalists announced at the Toronto Auto Show were the hybrid Honda Fit, Subaru Legacy and Toyota Camry hybrid. This was after the Cadillac ELR, the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive and the Acura RLX Sport hybrid had been eliminated.
Nearly every major auto manufacturer today has an electric line of vehicles, meaning that in the future, we will hopefully see more awards for eco-focused auto design.
Why the Kia Soul?
When the Soul was announced as the winner at the Vancouver Auto Show, Kia was thrilled, saying that “this acknowledgement is testimony to Kia’s ongoing commitment to deliver environmentally friendly automotive solutions and diverse powertrains to consumers without compromising on design or comfort.”
But just what was it about the Kia Soul that made it stand out? For starters, it’s a fully electric car, based on Kia’s already very successful Soul 5-door. Kia itself, as a company, has been growing exponentially in popularity, as seen by their 5.9% global sales increase in 2014.
Here is what the award-winning Kia Soul offers:
- Polymer lithium-ion battery good for 27 kWh
- 81.4 kW motor
- 210 lb-ft of torque
- 109 horsepower
- Organic LED 3.5 inch display
- Best-in-class EPA-estimated driving range of 93 miles
- Comfortable cabin with split-folding rear seats
- $34,995 for the base model
- $37,995 for the luxurious version
Do you think the Kia Soul EV deserved this award? What other car models could compete for the greenest car of the year?