First electric win for NZCOTY

First electric win for NZCOTY

BMW New Zealand managing director raises the Peter Greenslade Trophy

BMW New Zealand managing director raises the Peter Greenslade Trophy

For the first time an electric vehicle has taken out New Zealand Car of the Year.

The BMW i3 lead the charge for the plug-in brigade, winning both Compact class and the overall award – at the award ceremony held on Auckland’s waterfront last night.

AutoTalk was live blogging the event, and you can read full coverage and reactions, with images, HERE.

AA Motoring Services General Manager Stella Stocks says while electric vehicles form a tiny part of the New Zealand market, they are becoming a strong emerging sector.

“The BMW i3 is the epitome of what electric vehicles can offer Kiwi motorists which is a fresh and exciting alternative to their fossil-fuelled cousins,” Stocks says.

“While EVs aren’t for everyone they are starting to make their mark, particularly in urban environments,” Stocks notes. “Some manufacturers, like BMW, are investing heavily to develop technology ensuring that there will be an EV revolution in markets like New Zealand, around the world.”

Stocks says the inclusion of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) in last year’s top 10 and the Holden Volt in 2013 demonstrates manufacturers are hitting the mark in the EV segment.

New Zealand Motoring Writers’ Guild president Liz Dobson says the i# made the top ten because of its nnovative design and performance.

“When BMW set out to create a standalone range of electric vehicles, the German company built it completely from the wheels up – and the resulting i3 shows the dedication and determination of the marque to make an impact on the electric vehicle segment,” says Dobson.

“The i3 won over the guild members, who cover all regions of New Zealand – from the Far North to Dunedin. It stands out due to its pioneering design, its individual interior but more importantly its performance on our roads.”

Seperate to Car of the Year, judges voted on 10 vehicle categories to produce the Best in Class results. While the Car of the Year must be selected from new vehicles to market in the 12 months to 30 September 2015, the best in class can be any new car for sale in New Zealand today.

Best in class results:

  • Small car: Mazda2
  • Compact car: BMW i3
  • Medium/large car: Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  • Luxury car: Hyundai Genesis
  • Small SUV/Crossover: Mazda CX-3
  • Medium SUV: Hyundai Tucson
  • Large SUV: Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Luxury SUV: Volvo XC90
  • Utility: Ford Ranger
  • Sports Performance: Mercedes AMG C 63

Two safety awards were presented, based on Australasian and European safety testing results, to the Hyundai Genesis and Volvo XC90.

The Hyundai Tucson was chosen as the People’s Choice winner.

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