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Tesla is arguably the most famous electric vehicle brand in the world, and EVs like the ultra-fast Tesla Model S have given the company a major fan base. However, Tesla has not completely avoided criticism, and there are questions about whether the EV giant will be able to maintain its grip on the market as more manufacturers produce EVs.

A recent list from CNET of the best electric cars on the market today even left Tesla out altogether. Why did CNET choose to skip over Tesla, and what could this mean for the EV brand?

A red Tesla Model X, similar to the Model X stuck in a parking garage with the 'Always Sunny in Philadelphia' star
A red Tesla Model X | Qilai Shen via Getty Images

So which EVs actually made CNET’s list?

According to CNET, the publication’s list of the best electric cars of 2022 is the result of the editors having tested every EV available today. The list is divided into different styles of vehicles, like the best small electric car and the best electric pickup truck. Out of the 17 electric cars on the full list, most are from different brands, which highlights how the EV market has grown.

One standout from the CNET list is the 2022 GMC Hummer EV, which earned the title of the best extra-large electric car. A few years ago, the idea of a Hummer revival, especially an electric Hummer revival, might have seemed improbable. Since GMC released the Hummer EV, though, it has quickly gained a reputation for showing off just how powerful electric vehicles can be.

For a more modest EV, CNET named the Hyundai Kona Electric as the best affordable electric car. CNET praised the Kona Electric for its 258-mile range and MSRP of $35,185. 

The Porsche Taycan earned the spot on the list for the best full-size electric car. This electric Porsche has received critical acclaim for showcasing the iconic Porsche style and performance while being an electric vehicle. 

Tesla missed out on the list for a critical issue

With so many brands making the CNET best electric cars list, it seems almost impossible for no Tesla vehicles to be included. This omission was not by accident, though, and CNET gave a justifiable reason for leaving the company out.

Tesla was not included in the list because of a “phantom braking” issue that has been found in Model 3 and Model Y vehicles. CNET states that when drivers have used Autopilot, Tesla’s name for Advanced Driver Assist Features, they have encountered sudden, unexpected braking while driving at highway speeds. This only applies to 2021 and 2022 models, and the NHTSA is currently investigating the issue. 

CNET noted that reviewers had encountered the problem in their tests with the Model Y. Right now, Autopilot braking concern seemingly has only been found in Model 3 and Model Y vehicles, but it is a major safety concern that currently hangs over the Tesla brand as a whole. Because of it, no Tesla EVs are featured on CNET’s best EVs list.

What does this mean for Tesla?

With more models of electric vehicles entering the market, some may wonder if Tesla’s dominance may be slipping. Will Tesla vehicles frequently be left out of lists of the best electric cars? 

For now, this omission from the CNET list is likely not a sign of long-term damage to Tesla’s reputation. In the list of best EVs of 2022, CNET noted that the issue with braking was the only reason that Tesla was disqualified from being included. It also stated that once Tesla fixes the problem, the reviewers will update their list. 

While the “phantom braking” problem in Tesla Model 3 and Model Y vehicles is a serious concern, it does not necessarily mean that Tesla will struggle in the future.

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