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Cars seem to be getting greener and cleaner as time goes on, thanks to the wide steps in electrification over the years. Every year, the editors at Green Car Journal award one lucky vehicle with the highly-coveted “Green Car of the Year” award. They just announced the winner for 2022, and you might be surprised that it’s not a Tesla.

Which car is the 2022 Green Car of the Year?

2021 Audi Q4 e-tron
2022 Audi Q4 e-tron | Audi

Drum roll, please. The 2022 Green Car of the Year is the Audi Q4 e-tron. The Q4 e-tron was joined by other finalists including the BMW i4, Kia EV6, Rivian R1T, and the Volvo C40 Recharge. As we can see, they’re all fully electric vehicles, however, the Q4 e-tron shined above the rest.

“This is a well-earned win for Audi and its exceptional Q4 e-tron and Q4 e-tron Sportback,” said Ron Cogan, editor, and publisher of Green Car Journal and “Audi has shown a significant commitment to electrification with a growing number of plug-in hybrid and fully electric models. The all-new Q4 e-tron is especially important because it offers drivers a premium electric crossover SUV producing no emissions, at an approachable price.”

According to PR Newswire, the Green Car of the Year is selected via a “distinguished jury that includes leaders of the nation’s energy efficiency and environmental organizations.” That sounds like quite the prestigious crowd, especially considering it also includes celebrity auto expert Jay Leno and, of course, the editors from the Green Car Journal as well.

Other 2022 Green Car Awards winners

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV
2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV | Chevrolet

The Green Car of the Year has been the mainstay of the Green Car Awards since 2005, however, other awards in various categories have been added throughout the years. Here are the finalists and entrants for each category:

2022 Luxury Green Car of the Year Finalists: 

  • Lucid Air – Winner
  • Audi e-tron GT
  • BMW iX
  • Karma GS-6
  • Mercedes-Benz EQS

2022 Urban Green Car of the Year Finalists: 

  • Chevrolet Bolt EUV – Winner
  • Hyundai Kona Electric
  • Hyundai Venue
  • Kia Seltos
  • MINI Cooper SE

2022 Commercial Green Car of the Year Finalists:

  • BrightDrop EV600 – Winner
  • ELMS Urban Delivery EV
  • Ford E-Transit
  • Lightning eMotors Electric Van
  • Rivian Electric Delivery Van

2022 Performance Green Car of the Year Finalists: 

  • Tesla Model S Plaid — Winner
  • Audi e-tron GT RS
  • Ford Mustang Mach-E GT
  • Lucid Air Dream Performance
  • Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo Turbo S,

2022 Green SUV of the Year Finalists:

  • Hyundai IONIQ 5 — Winner
  • Hyundai Tucson
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe
  • Lexus NX
  • Volkswagen ID.4

The competition at the Green Car Awards gets stiffer every year

a 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid in red speeding down a road
2021 Tesla Model S Plaid | Tesla

The 2020 Toyota Corolla Is the Greenest Car on the Market

Looking at the aforementioned entrants, it’s easy to see that the competition for each award gets stiffer every year. Cars like the Chevy Bolt EUV were praised for their exceptional range. While others, like the Tesla Model S Plaid, received top honors for having blisteringly fast acceleration times. For those not in the know, the Model S Plaid won its respective category for its ability to go from 0 to 60 mph in just 1.9 seconds and get to a top speed of 167 mph.

Considering these all-electric vehicles seem to get faster, and go farther every year, we’re excited to see what will happen next year. Will a Tesla snag the highly coveted Green Car of the Year spot? Or will it be a shocking surprise? We’ll see next year.