THIS award is still in its infancy, much like the market segment it honours. The electric vehicle sector still needs time to settle in and define its own parameters. As such, the automotive industry recognises all manner of electric vehicles from battery electric hybrid vehicles (BHEVS) to plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVS) and of course pure electric vehicles (EVS) as a collective group and thus, so do we. There are of course, a number of noteworthy contenders for an award of this nature, spanning such a diverse range, which makes selection of an outright winner that much more challenging. Our criteria this year comprised many facets and considerations, but of significant weight was the ongoing commercial application of the award-winning vehicle in a variety of professional roles. With that in mind, our judging panel awards the EV of the Year award to relative newcomer to New Zealand, LDV – a brand which has demonstrated its commitment to emission-free and fuel-free motoring without the advantages of a host of conventionally-fuelled vehicles providing a solid base to springboard from. The judging panel considered too, the choice of hero vehicle – a van. With this particular vehicle, LDV has produced an EV which more than pulls its own weight in terms of serving the New Zealand market. Its ability to carry a large payload over a respectable distance at a not insignificant speed, certainly set the LDV head and shoulders above other alternatively fuelled vehicles driven over the 2017/18 year. Of a seemingly lesser – but by no means invalid – consideration is the LDV’S ability to highlight the clean, green image of New Zealand, the EV80 serving as a highly visible traveling billboard for a number of high-profile business entities. It is, in short, an excellent ambassadorial vehicle for the country.