2016 Awards

Our winners for the 2016 AutoVolt Electric and Hybrid Awards are as follows. Entrants this year were of an exceptionally high standard and choosing the winners was – as always – a tough task. Read on to find out who this year’s winners are.

AutoVolt Electric & Hybrid Awards Star 2016

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The awards results shown on this page are only half the story. If you’d like to get the bigger picture and see what the competition was like this year, you’ll need to get the July-August 2016 issue. There’s lots more to it than awards alone too!

The winners…

WINNER: City Electric

BMW i3 94Ah

The BMW i3 has won the City Electric category for the second year running, despite increased competition. Recent battery updates to the i3 has kept it in a leading position as a premium city car, while its carbon-fibre build, innovative approach to design and relative price to rivals ensure it remains a firm favourite.

Jonathan Musk, AutoVolt’s editor, commented: “The BMW and BMW i brands have clearly embraced electrification with both hands. Their approach to design and ability to incorporate electric components into their entire range is both impressive and hugely successful.

“The i3 has won its award for the second consecutive year and this is no real surprise. It remains unrivalled in what it offers, despite stiff competition. The carbon-fibre build remains unique and performance excites.”

WINNER: Small Electric

Nissan Leaf 30kWh

The Nissan Leaf 30kWh was praised for its updates to the original model that help keep the car current and push it ahead of its closest rival. It’s price and real world availability, as well as decent dealer support easily put it into the top spot for the Small Electric car category.

Jonathan Musk, AutoVolt’s editor, commented: “There’s no question that the Nissan Leaf is the default electric car. Sales have exceeded rivals’ with good reason. Nissan’s brave and pioneering approach to electric cars is commendable and extends to their dealer network that, in my experience, has been both welcoming and knowledgeable. We have no trouble in recommending the Leaf to anyone who’s remotely interested in electric cars, as it is so easy to live with, dependable and good to drive.”

WINNER: Small Hybrid

Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

Hyundai’s Ioniq might be late to the hybrid party, but it has a lot going for it. The approach made by the company is an intelligent one as it uses more energy dense lithium-ion batteries, while its nearest rival still uses Ni-MH. The use of a more expensive dual-clutch gearbox offers a more natural drive too, unlike the CVT installed in most other hybrids. Hyundai has been clever to offer the Ioniq as an electric car and a plug-in hybrid too, which broadens the appeal.

Jonathan Musk, AutoVolt’s editor, commented: “The Ioniq is the kind of car that gets us excited. With the Ioniq, Hyundai has given us a hybrid, EV and PHEV all in one shell. The innovative approach to hybridisation, use of Li-ion batteries and more appealing dual-clutch gearbox are all welcome benefits over its closest rivals. Importantly, the impressively low pricing should help attract more customers to question the default purchase of a petrol or diesel car.”

 

WINNER: Medium EV & Hybrid

BMW 330e

Judges felt the car offers excellent value for money with a useable electric range that provides superb economy around town or on a commute. The practicality and convenience of the impressive 2-litre four-cylinder engine combines to offer near unrivalled performance and flexibility. Built on a class leader to begin with, Awards judges commented that the 330e is a near no-compromise car that excels in all manner of different driving scenarios.

Jonathan Musk, AutoVolt’s editor, commented: “The BMW and BMW i brands have clearly embraced electrification with both hands. Their approach to design and ability to incorporate electric components into their entire range is both impressive and hugely successful.

“The BMW 330e is a fantastic all-rounder that excels in so many areas. It’s a high performance car if desired, or a zero-emission run-around on demand. While others can pull off the same trick, the BMW is able to capitalise on its mass-produced roots where it is frequently seen as the best in its class.”

WINNER: Large EV & Hybrid

Tesla Model S 90D

Judges praised Tesla for their persistent updates and improvements to the Model S, which help make a great car ever better. While range performance, speed, safety and equipment are all improved, prices stay remarkably low – all things considered.

Jonathan Musk, AutoVolt’s editor, commented: “Model S is a hugely impressive machine. Not only does it have a giant 17” touchscreen, but Tesla keep updating it and the car’s functions via over-the-air updates. It is one of the safest cars in the world, is good looking, has incredible performance and keeps on improving. Autopilot is also hugely impressive and likewise, is always improving. The Model S is science-fiction available to buy today.”

 

WINNER: SUV EV & Hybrid

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Mitsubishi’s Outlander PHEV is the best-selling plug-in car in the UK. It represents huge value for money and is sold at the same price as the diesel. Mitsubishi’s success has been in making a premium looking vehicle accessible to the masses and at a time when SUVs are ever popular. Judges liked the everyman appeal, rugged good looks since its facelift and refined driving experience.

Jonathan Musk, AutoVolt’s editor, commented: “The Outlander PHEV is a no compromise car. If you want an SUV capable of carting loads about, but are put off by the typically poor fuel economy then the Outlander PHEV is the car for you. It’s hugely practical, looks great and has a unique electric all-wheel drive system. Together with its class leading electric range and value for money make the Outlander PHEV a no brainer. It came very close to winning our overall winner award.”

 

WINNER: Van Electric

Nissan e-NV200 Van

The e-NV200 van was praised for its class leading payload and drivability. Its Nissan Leaf powertrain provides a relaxing yet responsive ride and the practical interior is unhindered from the petrol/diesel NV200.

Jonathan Musk, AutoVolt’s editor, commented: “The e-NV200 looks like an ordinary van and it is, but it’s more fun to drive and, with the government’s plug-in van grant of 20% up to £8,000, it makes real financial sense too.”

WINNER: Sports EV & Hybrid

BMW i8

The BMW i8 has won the Sports EV & Hybrid category for the second year running. Despite fierce new competition, the i8 retains its leading position as a do-it-all sports car, while its carbon-fibre build, innovative approach to design and relative price to rivals ensure it remains a firm favourite.

Jonathan Musk, AutoVolt’s editor, commented: “The BMW and BMW i brands have clearly embraced electrification with both hands. Their approach to design and ability to incorporate electric components into their entire range is both impressive and hugely successful.

“The i8 has won its award for the second consecutive year and this is no real surprise. It remains unrivalled in what it offers, despite stiff competition. The carbon-fibre build remains unique and performance excites.”

WINNER: Super EV & Hybrid

Koenigsegg Regera

The Regera is the epitome of intelligent design and engineering. It’s true testament to the boffins at Koenigsegg who somehow manage to keep making cars that show up the likes of Porsche and Ferrari at their own game. Judges applauded the Regera for its special approach to hybridisation, using an electric motor to fill in the low-end torque that’s typically lacking from a petrol engine to be able to do away with the gearbox altogether. Its linear acceleration is electric, only with the soundtrack of a 5-litre V8 via a beautiful fishtail exhaust.

Jonathan Musk, AutoVolt’s editor, commented: “Koenigsegg has taken hybridisation and made it their own. Nobody else would have been brave or clever enough to do away with the gearbox altogether, but Koenigsegg have and they’ve made it work too. The mind-blowing acceleration capable by the Regera is enough to ignite legislative talk of an acceleration speed limit.”

 

WINNER: Hydrogen Fuel Cell

Toyota Mirai

The Mirai is the first commercially available Toyota hydrogen fuel cell car, but it feels like they’ve been making them for decades. Judges applauded Toyota for their ambition in bringing the Mirai to a world market and for creating a car that’s convincingly uncompromised.

Jonathan Musk, AutoVolt’s editor, commented: “The Mirai is impressive to drive and was much like an uncompromised battery electric car – refined, responsive and with 300-miles range. The interior is sumptuous with the only real negatives being a small boot and only four seats. Nevertheless, these are a small price to pay for what is actually a very good electric car. Only the lack of a hydrogen infrastructure would hold us back from buying one. However, the Mirai is likely to prove persuasive in the building of a hydrogen infrastructure and that alone is worthy of commendation.”

 

And the 2016 overall winner is…

OVERALL WINNER: BMW 330e

BMW won an incredible four awards, more than any other brand. This includes our overall winner award, for the BMW 330e plug-in hybrid. Judges felt that the car offers excellent value for money with a useable electric range that provides superb economy around town or on a commute. The practicality and convenience of the impressive 2-litre four-cylinder engine combines to offer near unrivalled performance and flexibility. Built on a class leader to begin with, awards judges commented that the 330e is a near no-compromise car that excels in all manner of different driving scenarios.

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