The shortlist of seven nominations for Car of the Year 2022 has been revealed – and it is dominated by expensive electric models.
Six of the models up for the award are the Cupra Born, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, Renault Megane E-Tech and Skoda Enyaq – all of them battery-powered vehicles.
Just one car in the running for the award is not an EV – the all-new Peugeot 308.
The list of nominees – which has been whittled down from 38 candidates – is stark contrast to those in the running for the 2021 gong, which featured just two electric cars.
A year ago it was only the Volkswagen ID.3 and Fiat 500 EVs that were among the shortlist for Car of the Year, which was eventually won by the Toyota Yaris, which is priced from £22,150 in UK dealers.
Of the six battery models up for the award in 2022, just four are currently on sale in the UK – and none of them are what you’d call affordable.
The cheapest of those is the Skoda Enyaq iV, priced from £32,010 with the £2,500 Government Plug-in Car Grant of £2,500 included.
The most expensive is the Ford Mustang Mach-E, which starts from £42,530 to £66,280 for the range-topping GT version.
However, the Renault Megane E-Tech and Cupra Born – based on the VW ID.3 – are both set to start from under £30,000 when they do eventually arrive in UK showrooms next year.
With 86 per cent of the nominees being battery cars, it looks almost certain that an EV will take the Car of the Year crown for the third time on record.
Previous electric winners were the original Nissan Leaf (2011) and Jaguar I-Pace (2019).
Taking the fight to the zero emissions cars is the latest motor out of France, the Peugeot 308.
Prices for the cheapest 1.2-litre petrol will start from £24,000.
While there is no pure-electric version, it will be sold as a plug-in hybrid, which starts from £33,000 and offers an EV-only range of 37 miles.
The French brand – which won the award in 2020 with the 208 supermini – claims that more than 24,000 customers in Europe had already placed orders for the new family hatchback by the end of October. One in five are for the plug-in hybrid version, it says.
UK order books for the revised hatch have only opened this week.
The overall winner of the Car of the Year 2022 will be announced on 28 February.
The awards have been running since 1964 – when it was won by the Rover 2000 – and is considered one of the major motoring accolades of the year.
Eligible cars must have been launched within 12 months of the winning announcement and available in at least five European countries before the end of 2021.
Some 61 judges – most of the esteemed motoring journalists – from 23 countries choose the winner based on a scoring system.