Gas prices puts focus on electrified vehicles
Gas prices are skyrocketing because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, shifting the focus to fuel saving vehicle for many new car buyers. The include all-electric vehicles and hybrids that shift power between gas engines and electric motors as needed. And that includes growing number of plug-in hybrids that can go a certain number of miles on electricity alone before shifting over to traditional hybrid modes.
Many of the newest of these vehicles were on display at the 2020 Portland International Auto Show that ran from Feb. 24 to 26 at the Oregon Convention Center. It is traditionally the largest display of new vehicles in the Pacific Northwest, with dozens of manufacturers showing off their latest models.
This year's show also included the return of the Electric Avenue exhibit, which was presented by PGE, Pacific Power, Clark Public Utilities, the Oregon Electric Vehicle Association, and Chargeway. It showcased the growing number of electrified vehicles and detailed the charging options available for home and business installation, as well as the publicly-available charging options around the Portland metro area.
Here are some of the most fuel efficient vehicles at the show that are for sale at dealerships now or in the near future:
Electrified crossover SUVs
Crossover SUVs are among the most popular vehicles these days, replacing traditional cars for a growing number of buyers. The newest include the all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E and high-performance GT version, the all-electric Chevrolet Bolt EUV, the Kia Niro EV, the Mazda MX-30, the Volkswagen ID.4, the all-electric Subaru Solterra that was co-developed with the Toyota bZ4X.
Plug-in hybrid SUVs include the BMW X3 and X5, the Ford Escape PHEV, the Jeep Wrangler 4XE, the Kia Niro and Sorento plug-in hybrids, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, and the Toyota RAV4 Prime that gets up to 42 miles on electricity alone before switching over to convention hybrid mode.
Conventional hybrids include the Honda CR-V Hybrid, the Toyota Venza and versions of the Kia Niro and Sorento.
Electrified pickup trucks
Ford has begun deliveries of the all-electric F-150 Lightning electric truck while Chevy has introduced an all-electric Silverado. Ford has also introduced a hybrid version of its new compact Maverick pickup that averages nearly 40 miles per gallon and starts at only around $21,000.
The company that invented the minivan now offers a plug-in hybrid Chrysler Pacifica that will go up to 32 miles on electricity alone, a remarkable achievement for such a large vehicle. And all versions of the Toyota Sienna are hybrid for 2022, with available AWD thanks to an additional motor for the rear wheels and a Woodland edition with more ground clearance for outdoor adventures.
All-electric cars include the BMW 440i and 530e, Chevy Bolt, Nissan Leaf and Polestar 2. Plug in hybrids include the Kia Sorento. Traditional hybrids include the Toyota Prius, and the Honda Accord and Insight.
One of the advantages to purchasing an EV is the availability of both U.S. federal and Oregon state cash incentives. Oregon offers a cash rebate of up to $2,500 for buying or leasing an electric vehicle. Oregon's standard rebate applies to any EV with a base price under $50,000 and includes electric motorcycles. Low-income Oregonians, defined as earning "up to 400% of the Federal poverty guideline" for their family size, are eligible for an additional rebate of up to $5,000.
The federal tax credit for EVs is more complicated as it phases out for automakers who have produced a significant number of EVs. For complete federal EV tax credit information, visit www.fueleconomy.gov and look for "Tax Incentives" under the "Save Money & Fuel" menu.
The 2022 Portland International Auto Show was produced by the Metro Portland New Car Dealers Association. The media sponsor was the Pamplin Media Group.
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