The folks behind the World Car Awards are circling a winner soon from among three finalists for the prestigious 2022 World Car Of The Year award, otherwise known as the WCOTY. It’s a terrible acronym, but the award is held in high regard nonetheless. For the first time ever, all three finalists for the WCOTY are electric cars.
The World Car Award finalists for 2022 are the Ford Mustang Mach-E, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the Kia EV6. The WCA will name one of these fully-electric cars the winner on April 13 at the New York International Auto Show, where the group will hand out awards in a few other categories, too. Categories like World Luxury Car, World Performance Car, and World Electric Vehicle Of The Year.
That’s right. There’s a category exclusively for electric cars already. Somehow, the finalists for the EV-specific honor didn’t all carry over from the WCOTY. The only one that made it to both was the Hyundai Ioniq 5. That’ll give you some indication of how the awards could play out, especially considering that the Ioniq 5 is also a finalist for the World Car Design Award. The smart money is on the Hyundai to get some kind of “World” award in 2022.
But this year is reportedly unusual because there isn’t an ICE car among the finalists. The Volkswagen ID.4 and Honda e were both finalists in 2021, but the electric cars were competing against the gas-powered Toyota Yaris. The award went to the VW ID.4; however, the Yaris at least showed up to represent the world’s combustion cars.
There’s no such representative this year. It’s not necessarily a sign that an ICE car will never contend for the award again, but I think it marks a shift in how people rank a car’s qualities. It’s either that, or electric cars are simply outdoing ICE cars at the task of just being cars. It’s not that hard! The WCA winners are reportedly chosen by a jury of 102 automotive journalists from 33 countries.
That’s quite the sample size. I wouldn’t suspect much bias when the jurors are that broad and decentralized.
Look, it’s fine. The more EVs we have, the better. More EVs being made and winning awards hopefully inspires carmakers to take risks again. Really, what’s most suspect about the 2022 WCOTY isn’t that all the cars are electric; it’s that they’re all crossovers.