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Ford's Maverick, left, and Bronco were among the winners in the North American Car, Truck and Utility awards. Photo: Ford

Some of the most innovative electric vehicles we've test-driven in the past year were snubbed as 2022 North American Car, Truck and Utility of the Year, announced on Tuesday.

Driving the news: The Lucid Air sedan, Rivian R1T pickup and Hyundai Ioniq 5 crossover utility were all finalists for best vehicles in their category, but they lost out to traditional models from well-known brands.

  • The winners: Honda Civic (car), Ford Maverick (truck) and Ford Bronco (utility).
  • The jury: 50 leading automotive journalists from the U.S. and Canada (including yours truly).

My thought bubble: The winners stood out for their value for the money and, in the case of the Bronco, technology that enabled even me to excel at off-roading.

  • Starting at $19,995, the small and efficient Maverick hybrid finally makes pickup trucks affordable for entry-level buyers, and the 11th-generation Civic is rock solid as always.

Yes, but: I was impressed by all three EV finalists, especially since Lucid and Rivian are newcomers to the industry.

  • The $169,000 Lucid Air Dream is a game-changer that could unlock more affordable electric vehicles for the masses.
  • Rivian's fresh and surprisingly capable R1T opens up a new market for electric pickup trucks.
  • And Hyundai's spacious Ioniq 5, which can charge to 80% in just 18 minutes, shows how EVs can easily fit into our lives.

The bottom line: These futuristic EVs hold promise, but it's too early to declare them winners.

Go deeper

Electric cars could become charging stations too

Ford's F-150 Lightning pickup can top off the battery in a Mustang Mach-E. Photo: Ford

Electric vehicles will soon have "bidirectional" or two-way batteries that can turn cars into useful sources of power for your home, worksite or even another car.

Why it matters: One of the biggest obstacles to EV adoption is the lack of charging infrastructure.

  • But if you think of your car as a source of energy — not just a consumer of it — that whole calculus begins to change, says Reilly Brennan, a transportation investor at Trucks Venture Capital.
Updated 2 hours ago - World

Pentagon: 8,500 troops on high alert for possible deployment to eastern Europe

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has placed 8,500 U.S. troops on "heightened preparedness to deploy" to eastern Europe in case NATO activates its rapid-response force over tensions with Russia, the Pentagon announced Monday.

Why it matters: No decisions have been made to actually deploy U.S. forces, but the heightened alert level will allow the military to rapidly shore up NATO's eastern flank in the event that Russia invades Ukraine. The Pentagon warned that Russia has shown "no signs of de-escalating," and continues to amass troops on Ukraine's borders.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden calls Fox News reporter a "stupid son of a b---h" on hot mic

President Biden blasted Fox News' Peter Doocy on Monday after the reporter asked if the nation's soaring inflation is a political liability, saying, "what a stupid son of a b----h."

The latest: The president called Doocy Monday evening, the reporter told Fox's Sean Hannity. "He cleared the air and I appreciated it. We had a nice call," Doocy said when asked whether the president apologized, adding: "I don't need anyone to apologize to me."