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Battery electric car wins WhatCar Car of the Year Award for the first time

Wed 23 January 2019 | Back to news list

For the first time, a battery electric vehicle has been named the WhatCar Car of the Year. WhatCar said that the Kia e-Niro is "the first sensibly priced electric car that can fit into most people’s lives". 

The fully electric model from the Korean manufacturer, which has a range of 253 miles, received the award at the magazine’s 42nd annual awards ceremony at Grosvenor House, London.

The e-Niro beat 23 other category winners to take the overall title. the Kia e-Niro was also named Electric Car of the Year.

WhatCar editor Steve Huntingford said: “The demand for electric cars has grown exponentially in recent years, and 2019 is shaping up to be the biggest year yet.

“Most of the leading manufacturers have plans for new EVs, and the fact that the Kia e-Niro was able to beat all its petrol and diesel rivals to win the 2019 WhatCar Car of the Year Award shows how far this technology has developed.

“The e-Niro stood out because it addresses the key issues of cost and range that have traditionally prevented many motorists from taking the plunge into EV ownership. Here is a spacious and practical family SUV that demands very few compromises.”

The e-Niro also received a five-star rating in WhatCar's review. The review says the car "threatens to rewrite the rulebook and make electric motoring a realistic proposition for the masses".

Hyundai joined its sister company Kia in being recognised by WhatCar? for its work with alternative fuels, being named winner of the Technology Award for its progress with electric and fuel cell technology.

Meanwhile, Fleet World named the e-Niro's close relative, the Hyundai Kona Electric as the Best Green Fleet Car. The vehicle, which shares many features with the e-Niro is capable of up to 279 miles of zero emissions range, and starting from £30,750*

Fleet World judges praised Kona Electric as "a tipping point for fully electric vehicles, bringing real-world usability, smart looks and a fun driving experience to the mainstream."

The Kona Electric was also recently named the Auto Express ‘Affordable Electric Car of the Year’ and was ‘Car of the Year’ at the Next Green Car Awards

Hyundai continues to invest in low emissions technology, launching the NEXO Fuel Cell Vehicle early this year, and plans a total of 18 electrified models by 2025

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