The BMW i3 has overcome strong resistance to become the first all-electric car to take out the Wheels magazine car of the year award.
German manufacturer BMW bettered fossil-fuelled rivals including last year’s winners Volkswagen, who have taken out the honour three times in the last six years, to be crowned for the first time in the award’s 52-year history.
Wheels editor Glenn Butler said the i3’s victory serves notice to its combustion-engined competitors that the electric cars are here to stay.
“This year the future has arrived in the form of a seriously good motor vehicle … that just happens to run on electricity,”
“There is no novelty factor involved here either.
“It ushers in a new era of eco-performance for millions of families and urban commuters around the world, and in Australia.”
Judges described the i3 as innovative and praised BMW’s “bravery” to produce the electric-engined car.
“Other brands surely possess the know-how to have created something equally visionary; all they lacked was BMW’s bravery,” they said in a statement.
“This innovative and compact electric car combines expressive design, impressive engineering, exceptional efficiency and persuasive practicality with a good deal of driver appeal.”
“It is both admirable and desirable.”
The Wheels award has been running since 1963, when the Renault R8 took out the prize.
The last Australian-built car to win the award was the Holden VE Commodore in 2006.
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