As with every big event lately, the Autotrader South Africa Car of the Year Awards were held via a streamed YouTube ceremony in Johannesburg, in which an electric vehicle took top honours, but it wasn’t the usual suspect.
The Jaguar I-PACE EV400 AWD SE was awarded Car of the Year by the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists, the first time an EV has won the award since it began in 1986.
It is also the first time a Jaguar Land Rover product has won the award, which is the most sought after motoring prize in South Africa.
Tesla was not in the running because they are not currently available in South Africa. Elon Musk has said before he would like to bring Tesla to his home country, but high import taxes have thus far prevented him from doing so.
Would love to, but import duties are extremely high, even for electric vehicles
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 28, 2019
There were fourteen finalists vying for the prize, including the likes of the BMW 3 Series, BMW X5, Citroën C3 Aircross, Ford Ranger Raptor, Hyundai Atos, Jaguar I-Pace, Mazda3, Mercedes-Benz GLE, Peugeot 5008, Suzuki Swift Sport, Toyota Corolla Hatch, Toyota GR Supra, Toyota Rav4 and Volkswagen T-Cross.
The Jaguar I-PACE was also awarded Canadian Utility Car of the Year and Premium EV award from AJAC earlier this year. Also missing from the list of contenders in that competition was any Tesla vehicle.