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Electric vehicle wins Car of the Year award for first time

The prestigious Car of the Year award has been given to an electric vehicle for the first time.

The Kia e-Niro was handed the title by car-buying magazine and website What Car? at its 42nd annual awards ceremony.

It can be driven for 253 miles between charges, according to tests in real-world conditions.

What Car? editor Steve Huntingford said: ‘The demand for electric cars has grown exponentially in recent years, and 2019 is shaping up to be the biggest year yet.

‘Most of the leading manufacturers have plans for new electric cars, and the fact that the Kia e-Niro was able to beat all its petrol and diesel rivals to win the 2019 What Car? Car of the Year award shows how far this technology has developed.

‘The e-Niro stood out because it addresses the key issues of cost and range that have traditionally prevented many motorists from taking the plunge into electric car ownership.’

Electric cars are gradually growing in popularity in Malta.

In 2017, there were a total of 1,061 electric cars and 295 electric motorbikes on Maltese roads.

The car sharing service Go To Malta, which launched last year, uses a fleet of 150 all-electric Renault ZOE cars.

The scheme works through an app which finds the closest available car to you, which you can then drive to your destination.

There are special designated parking spaces in 68 areas of Malta and Gozo.

The parking spaces are marked in orange and linked to 225 electric charging stations.

The Ministry of Transport has said it aims to have at least 5,000 electric vehicles on Malta’s roads by 2020.

Read more: What Car? magazine