It what’s bound to be a trend in coming years, England’s Southern Group of Motoring Writers have named the Hyundai Kona EV its Car of the Year and the Honda Urban EV as the one to watch for the coming year.
Although auto writers tend to overwhelmingly speak against electric vehicles for their lack of power, the voting suggests that EVs are not as loathsome as writers make them out to be. It should be noted, though, that the SGMW membership are located in the southeast corner of the big island, which is England’s most densely-populated area and includes the city of London, which has banned the use of gasoline and diesel vehicles in rush-hours.
“As with any new technology, early adopters with faith – and the cash – have bought into electric cars,” said SGMW Chairman Ian Robertson. “But it’s up to us hard-nosed motoring writers to ‘pressure test’ whether electric cars really are starting to deliver, and votes in only our second New Year Honours List seems to endorse this, and particularly on the issue of range anxiety.”
Introduced in 2017 for the 2018 model year, the compact Hyundai Kona crossover was joined by an EV version this past year, with North American deliveries of the 2019 Hyundai Kona EV expected at the end of 2018. However, that deadline has now passed without any word from Hyundai about when people who put down deposits will receive their vehicles. The Kona and Kona EV twins are one of the finalists for the 2019 North American Utility of the Year, along with the Acura RDX and Jaguar I-Pace
A tribute to the original Civic, the Honda Urban EV is the Mini-like 2-door city car (100 mm shorter than Fit, it uses rear-hinged doors for easier rear seats entry/exit) that’s set to launch in the European theatre in 2020 (potential owners can put down deposits starting in 2019). The platform is also due to be used on the sporty 2-seat Sports EV that pays tribute to the Honda S600 sporty coupe/roadster of the mid-’60s, though neither EV is likely a consideration for North America.
Also mentioned on the SGMW Honours List were the I-Pace, Audi e-tron and Tesla Model 3.