As the automobile industry hurtles towards massive changes, the one thing we have all accepted as no longer inevitable – is electrification. The annual World Car Awards programme recognises this by way of the first-ever World Electric Vehicle of the Year award for the 2022 season.
The car that wins the title of ‘2022 World Electric Vehicle of the Year’ will be the first EV on the planet to hold this recognition. Yes, the EV or electric vehicle space is now becoming more and more mainstream, and so for us at the World Car Awards it was important to recognise this transition. And let me tell you, we had debated even in past editions – so it is not a new idea to us – but now was the right time to go ahead and introduce this category! Why was it important, and why now you might ask? Well, quite simply for two reasons. The first is the sheer number of EVs now coming out from the global OEM stables, in diverse markets. And the second is also to applaud, appreciate and give encouragement to the industry for fostering this change – seemingly unwillingly a few years ago, but aggressively off late.
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The EV itself has also undergone huge changes rather rapidly in recent times. Gone are the days where an EV would be an awkward offering that had little or no relation to a brand’s existing portfolio of vehicles. It would also be styled differently, and more cases than not – was terrible to drive! Now an EV is so much more. More mainstream, more dynamic, more beautiful, more advanced, and therefore more acceptable. There are also a lot more of them – also making them more affordable than before! Most brands are talking about electrification – either across the board in a few years – as say Audi has; or of having an electrified option in each model line, or at least in each segment it operates in. And that is beginning to show even in the strategies of relatively niche or smaller players – be it at the high-end like Italy’s Ferrari, or at the competitive mass end, as in the case of India’s Tata Motors. That you have the likes of Jeep or Land Rover or even Mahindra also speaking the same language now – is another sure sign that the change is not only afoot, but plugging in a lot quicker than you may have initially expected!
The 2022 World EV of the Year already has 8 nominees in the fray. As with every category more and more nominees will keep adding to the list as the year unfolds, and new models launch, I expect that list to grow. For now we have (in alphabetical order) the Audi e-tron GT, Q4 e-tron and Q5 Sportback e-tron, BMW iX, iX3 and i4, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, and the Volvo C40 Recharge. Some of these cars do also qualify for the 2022 World Luxury Car, given their sticker price and positioning across markets. And of course like with all World Car categories, all nominees qualify for the 2022 World Car Design award as nominees.
The 2022 World Car Awards programme looks promising. The World EV of the Year will join our very high-decibel categories like the World Urban Car or World Performance Car in bringing even more attention to the terrific work that the automobile industry is doing the world over. We wish all nominees the very best, and continue to embrace the engineering and technology that is literally driving the future of this vibrant industry. Please tell us what you think of the introduction of the EV award category. You can reach out to me on twitter or Instagram on @sidpatankar and don’t forget to tag the @WorldCarAwards (@theworldcarawards on insta) too! The 2022 World Car Awards will culminate with the announcement of winners across all 6 categories in New York, in April 2022.