If it’s early November, that means that SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association, has just opened its vast trade show in Las Vegas, the biggest conducted by any industry, where both the $50 billion automotive aftermarket and the OEM manufacturers turn out en masse to tease their latest creations. Full disclosure, I write regularly for the house magazine of SEMA’s subsidiary for hardcore motorsport parts, Performance Racing Industry. The SEMA show is an absolute must for anyone seriously involved in the car business, and the awards for special achievement dispensed there are highly prized indeed.
From its first trade show in Los Angeles way back in 1948, when it mainly displayed hot rod parts, SEMA has always saluted excellence in automotive conception, both among new cars and those tricked up by the aftermarket, often under commission of the industry. For the first time, recognition from SEMA is also being extended to vehicles that don’t have internal combustion engines. To that end, the Volkswagen ID.4 electric vehicle has been named the recipient of SEMA’s inaugural Electric Vehicle of the Year award, marking not only the first time SEMA has honored an EV, but likely also a Volkswagen product. Even the base ID.4, now known as the Standard, has a rear-drive electric motor that delivers the equivalent of 201 horsepower and an EPA-estimate range of 209 miles on a single charge.