NEW YORK, New York, April 18, 2014 (ENS) – The BMW i3 was declared the 2014 World Green Car Thursday on the final press day of the New York International Auto Show. The show opens to the public today and continues through Sunday, April 27 at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.

The BMW i3 was chosen from an initial entry list of 14 new vehicles from all over the world. From that group a short list of three finalists was chosen that included the winner as well as the Audi A3 Sportback g-tron and the Volkswagen XL1.

“To have the BMW i3 named World Green Car of the Year is a great honor,” said Dr. Ian Robertson, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Sales and Marketing BMW. “From the production process onwards, the BMW i3 is a truly sustainable vehicle, created with the needs of the 21st century city in mind.”

BMW i3

The BMW i3 crowned with the World Green Car of the Year award on the show floor, April 17, 2014 (Photo courtesy New York International Auto Show)

The World Car Awards is a program initiated by, organized by, and conducted by automotive journalists from all over the world, who pledge dedication to “the utmost objectivity, credibility, and integrity.”  The awards are not affiliated with any publication, auto show or automaker.

To be eligible for the 2014 World Green Car award, a vehicle had to be all-new, or substantially revised, in production and introduced for sale or lease to the public in quantities of at least 10 in at least one major market during the period beginning January 1, 2013 and ending May 31, 2014.

Tailpipe emissions, fuel consumption, and use of an advanced power plant technology beyond engine components, aimed at increasing the vehicle’s environmental responsibility, all were taken into consideration in deciding which car would win the prestigious award.

The electric BMW i3 has a range of 80 to 100 electric miles on a single charge in the standard Comfort mode, depending on driving style, traffic conditions and the topographical features of the route.

In Eco Pro mode, which operates with an adapted accelerator pedal that demands less power, the possible distance traveled increases by up to 12 percent.

The Eco Pro+ mode, which is specifically oriented for range, has a maximum speed that’s reduced to the recommended 55 mph, while energy consumers—such as heating and air conditioning—are switched to their energy-saving mode. Thus, when compared to the Comfort mode, the possible action radius is increased by up to 24 percent.

The energy supply for the electric drive, and for all other vehicle functions, depends on a lithium-ion high-voltage battery, which sets new energy efficiency standards.

The heating and cooling system of the battery ensures that its energy, and the vehicle’s range, is less affected by temperature fluctuations than it normally is with batteries of this type, the company says. An eight-year or 100,000 mile limited warranty is offered for the battery.

The BMW i3 accelerates from zero to 35 miles per hour in under four seconds and to 60 mph in about 7.2 seconds, or 7.9 seconds with Range Extender.

During the development of the i3,  BMW designers built in brake energy recuperation to enable optimum range. When the driver releases the accelerator, the electric motor becomes a generator and feeds the energy gained from the motion of the wheels back to the battery.

Due to the complexity of some of the green technologies, five green experts were appointed by the World Car Awards Steering Committee to extensively review all documentation and specs associated with each candidate.   They were asked to create a finalists’ short-list for review by the 69 World Car Awards’ jurors in their second round of voting in February.  The jurors’ ballots were then tabulated by the international accounting firm KPMG.

The experts commented that, “Radical in looks, construction, and powertrain, the BMW i3 is one of very few clean-sheet-of-paper cars designed from the ground up for efficiency, with the different needs of the new century’s megacities in mind.”

“From its last-kilometer navigation system to take drivers from car to destination, to the shipped-around-the-world carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic body shell without a B-pillar, the BMW i3 pushes boundaries on many fronts,” the experts said.

The five green experts are, in alphabetical order: Phil Berg of the USA with PopularMechanics.com; Richard Bremner with U.K. Autocar magazine, Claus-Peter Koeth Germany with automobil-industrie.de; Yumi Kawabata, a Japan-environmental journalist, and John Voelcker of the USA with GreenCarReports.com.

Previous World Green Car winners were the Tesla Model S in 2013, the Mercedes-Benz S 250 CDI BlueEfficiency in 2012, the Chevrolet Volt in 2011, the Volkswagen BlueMotion in 2010, the Honda FCX Clarity in 2009, the BMW 118d with Efficient Dynamics in 2008, the Mercedes-Benz E320 Bluetec in 2007 and the Honda Civic Hybrid in 2006.

The BMW Group previously won the 2008 World Green Car award for the BMW 118d with Efficient Dynamics.

Now in their 10th year, the annual World Car Awards are now the number one awards program in the world based on Prime Research’s 2013 report.  The awards were inaugurated in 2003, and officially launched in January 2004, to reflect the reality of the global marketplace, as well as to recognize and reward automotive excellence on an international scale.

The awards are intended to complement, not compete, with existing national and regional Car of the Year programs.

The awards are administered by a nonprofit association, under the guidance of a Steering Committee of automotive journalists from Asia, Europe, and North America.

Peter Lyon of Japan and Matt Davis of Italy are the co-chairs; Jens Meiners of Germany, Mike Rutherford of the UK, Eddie Alterman of the USA, and Gerry Malloy of Canada are the directors.

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2014. All rights reserved.

 

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