Tuesday, March 4, 2014

BMW i3 Places 2nd in European Car Of The Year Voting

Some say there are no moral victories and if you don't win, well, you just lose. I think that may apply to sports more than in other types of competitions, like say, the European Car Of The Year Award.

The BMW i3 finished 2nd to the Peugeot 308, and it was in fact by a substantial margin. However it is worthy of noting that the i3 did finish ahead of the Tesla Model S, which is largely considered the best electric car available. In fact, some automotive journalists say the Tesla Model S is flat out the best car available, electric or otherwise. So in this case, while I'm sure BMW had hoped to win the award, I think the consolation prize of finishing ahead of the Model S was definitely something they privately celebrated.

Autocar was the first to reveal the winner, getting the scoop on everybody. I'm actually here in Geneva now at the Geneva Motor Show covering it for InsideEVs and I didn't even know until I read what they posted! It seems Autocar may have in fact been surprised the i3 didn't win, and blamed the loss on the i3 and the Model S splitting the "electric vote". I'm not too sure I agree with there being an "electric vote" though, and the margin of victory was large enough to consider it a clear victory . However I really know very little about the voting process for this honor and perhaps Autocar knows something about this that I don't.  Here is what they had to say about the results:

“Peugeot wins ECOTY ahead of BMW i3 and Tesla Model S, which clearly split the electric vote. No quarrel with the 308, which is a very well sorted example of its kind, but still feel it’s an opportunity missed to pass over a revolution like the i3 in favour of something so very conventional.”

Here's how the voting went:

Peugeot 308: 307 votes
BMW i3: 223 votes
Tesla Model S: 216 votes
Citroen C4 Picasso: 182 votes
Mazda 3: 180 votes
Skoda Octavia: 172 votes
Mercedes Benz S-Class: 170 votes

So while the i3 didn't take home the trophy, it's clear the voters were impressed with what the i3 brings. To finish ahead of the Model S is pretty incredible, because the Model S is really an incredible car in its own right. So even without a win, this bodes very well for the i3. This is definitely an example of a worthwhile moral victory if I've ever seen one. Now we'll see if the people agree with the results. So far the demand has been very strong for the i3, but will that continue once the original pent up demand subsides and production ramps up to full volume? That's the three billion dollar question that BMW is praying for.

The action around the i3 on the show floor was very good, as it was basically surrounded with journalists all day. I was a little surprised by this because the i3 isn't "new" to the auto show circuit. It may be just launching for the public but journalists have had access to it at many of the past auto shows and by now I would have expected the buzz to have subsided a bit. Perhaps there was renewed interest because of the 2014 European Car Of  The Year competition.
Here are some more picture from Geneva:


  1. I agree with Autocar, this should have one. The i3 is a remarkable product of futuristic design, materials and production processies. The Peugeot is a nice family car (and I have owned many Peugeots) but it doesn't compare to the technological leap the Bimmer took.

  2. If the i3 "split the electric vote" with the Model S then the 308 "split the gas vote" with the C4, the Mazda 3, the Octavia, the S-class and it still won, so this argument is invalid. The i3 is a significant technological accomplishment for a mass market car beyond it being an EV, and as such it should have won.

    The real judge will be the people that buy and drive the i3.

  3. Tom,
    I have a suggestion that does not relate to this article. You may remember from the ActiveE blog that after Hurricane Sandy devastated New Jersey, the power at Nauna's was still on. Therefore, the charging stations were open and a few Volts and Leafs stopped by to charge up. Think: What would have happened if the electricity WAS unavailable? What would happen then? That's why I'm suggesting that you get a backup generator (NOT petroleum-powered) in case the power goes out. Therefore, Nauna's (and therefore the charging stations) will still be open and available to customers. It may not work in real life, but as a concept, it works. Please let me know what your opinion is about the idea. Thank you.

    1. Yes we were very lucky to have retained power after Sandy. I really con't understand why we did because everyone around us had no power. Where I live we were out for two weeks but I o have a whole home generator there which is powered by natural gas so I had power and was also able to charge at home.

      I have looked into a backup system for the restaurant but it's not likley to happen. First, I have a huge electricity demand there and would need to have an enormous generator which would likely cost $25,000 to $30,000 alone. However the biggest hurdle is the town. The restaurant is in a mixed use neighborhood/commercial zone and I would be very restricted as to where it could be placed and there just isn't any suitable place I could install it without applying for zoning variances. The only place suitable where I could put it now would be on the roof and the roof isn't designed to carry that extra load so I'd have to get a structural engineer to design supports for the roof and the get a crane to pick it up and mount it up there which would also add to the cost substantially. It just isn't likely to happen.

  4. I have BMW but it's old model 2008. I want update my BMW with new and just waiting for starting sale out of BMW I3. It will be biggest gift for me in this year 2014. I read there all latest features at BMW official sites. All features are remarkable and new shape is just awesome.