The auto industry has performed an amazing about-face in less than a decade, shifting its focus from gas-guzzling SUVs to fuel-sipping hybrids and gas-free electric vehicles. That has made earning accolades like the World Green Car of the Year all the more important, and this time around the winner is the BMW i8, making it the second consecutive win for BMW in this prestigious category.
Ulrich Kranz, Director of the BMW i Model Line, commented on the win thus: “We feel extremely honored, receiving this prestigious World Green Car award for the BMW i8. Together with the 2014 World Green Car Award for the BMW i3 it just confirms the rightfulness of our purpose-built strategy when it comes to electric cars. BornElectric instead of conversion is the way to go.” Consumers seem to agree, as BMW has had to increase production of the i8 in order to keep up with demand and lower a growing waitlist of eager buyers. (And note that this is a $136,000 car.)
The BMW i8 beat out a shortlist of nine other green cars. including the Mercedes-Benz S 500 Plug-In Hybrid and the Volkswagen Golf GTE. It also follows up the BMW i3, which won the Green Car of the Year last year, and is the third such award since 2010 when BMW’s BlueMotion diesel technology took home the prize. Five green car experts ultimately chose the i8 as the best representative of eco-friendly automotive progress in 2014, and it was just a few months ago that Top Gear dubbed the hybrid Bimmer its own Car of the Year.
The experts commented that, “The BMW i8 gasoline hybrid looks so cool, it should be the icon for all ‘Green’ cars…. So it inspires Green Passion, which on paper looks like 155 mph on the i8’s three cylinder turbo gasoline engine, four-wheel-drive and four seats. The i8 adds so much enjoyment to a sensible lifestyle that it needs to be recognized as a great Green Car.”