French auto manufacturer Renault’s all-electric Zoe – which has been pulled from sales in Australia due to a lack of supportive policy – has been awarded Best Small Electric Car in the Parkers New Car Awards 2021, one of the leading motoring awards in the UK.
The Tesla Model 3 electric sedan and Peugeot e-Expert electric van were also recipients of the prestigious awards.
The Parkers New Car Awards are awarded by the team at Parkers.co.uk, which has been valuing cars since 1972 and has a team of experts with “a combined experience of more than 100 years” reviewing all the latest vehicles in the UK.
With 21 categories aimed at providing advising its readers “what the best cars available actually are”, the Parkers New Car Awards had only three electric-specific categories – Best Small Electric Car, Best Large Electric Car, and Best Electrified Van.
Winner of the Best Electrified Van was the trio of all-electric vans from Groupe PSA, the Citroen e-Dispatch, the Peugeot e-Expert, and the Vauxhall Vivaro-e – all of them exactly the same under the hood and badge.
Unsurprisingly, the Tesla Model 3 won the Best Large Electric Car division, for the second year running.
Keith Adams, the editor at Parkers.co.uk, described the Renault Zoe as a car that “just keeps on getting better,” adding that: “With the competition heating up and new models being constantly introduced, it’s interesting to see that the best model overall is a facelifted version of s successful existing model.”
This is the first year for the Best Small Electric Car category, and Renault pointed to recent revisions to the Zoe as contributing to its win. The 2020 Zoe offers an all-electric driving range of up to 245 miles (394 kilometres) and the ability to charge up to 80% in just 70 minutes.
“The Renault Zoe has been facelifted to incorporate a longer range and some really big improvements to its user-friendly interior,” said Adams.
“Renault is rightly proud of its stance as an early adopter to the idea of the mainstream electric car, and we wholeheartedly back that – if you want a highly usable and enjoyable electric car that’s perfect for the city as well as the motorways, this makes a strong case for being your next set of wheels.”
Renault also drove away with the award for Best First Car for the Renault Clio. “We’re extremely pleased to accept these two prestigious awards,” said Vincent Tourette, managing director for Groupe Renault UK.
“They underline the ongoing success and popularity of the ZOE and the Clio in their respective, highly-competitive sectors, whilst also reaffirming how Renault continues to raise the bar in terms of providing compact car buyers with the very best vehicles, regardless of whether they have a conventional engine, a hybrid drivetrain or are 100% electric.”
Of the e-Expert’s win, Parker’s van editor C.J. Hubbard said in a statement that he was impressed by the £25,053 (before on-roads and VAT, $A45,798 converted) electric van’s range, payload and towing capabilities, and affordable price.
“Never before has there been a medium-sized electric van able to carry so much payload or travel so far per charge – Peugeot e-Expert customers should be confident that this van can do what they need it to do. The pricing and towing capability is impressive, too.”
While Tesla did not comment on the Model 3 win, Parker’s own statement on the decision to award it Best Large Electric Car took a jibe at the EV maker’s quality issues but ultimately awarded it for range, performance and charging network.
“This charismatic EV has become a top-selling car in the UK, despite being made by a technology firm not always associated with quality product,” Parker’s wrote.
“It really delivers where it counts, though, thanks to a long driving range, excellent performance and the advantage of Tesla’s unmatched Supercharger network. Top it off with decent leasing deals that can get you in one from around £400 per month, and you can see why it’s won for a second year running.”