The rising popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) among the British was again confirmed Friday when the Tesla Model 3 four-door sedan produced since 2017 and equipped with full self-driving hardware, was crowned UK Car of the Year 2020 at the United Kingdom Car of the Year (UKCOTY) Awards.

This is the first UKCOTY Award for Tesla, Inc. Before receiving this award, the Model 3 won as Best Executive Car two weeks ago.

The panel of 29 journalist judges in the automotive field that conferred the award cited the Model 3's "clean, crisp and technological inside," said Tom Ford of Top Gear. Ford also said the panel likes how the Model 3 "drives and performs like we think EVs should." These advantages make other EVs "feel stuffy and awkward."

"Game-changer is an often-overused phrase, but the Tesla Model 3 has shaken up the executive segment and got many brands thinking. Electric vehicles attract a broad spectrum of opinions, but it's clear that with its technology, performance, and range, the Model 3 is converting a lot of people," said John Challen, director of the UK Car of the Year Awards.

The UKCOTY panel said the win by the Model 3 is the second straight for EVs. The Jaguar I-PACE electric crossover SUV produced by Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and announced in March 2018 won the 2019 UKCOTY Award.

Model 3 has won many other awards over the past few years. It was named "Car Of The Year" by UK's Parker's Car Guides. It was also named the best electric car, best company car, and vehicle with the best safety by the same publication.

Tesla competed against eight other new cars -- each of which had won as the best in a category -- for the overall UKCOTY 2020 title. Three of these cars were EVs, with the other being the Kia e-Niro crossover SUV launched in 2018 at International Electric Vehicle Expo in South Korea.

The eight finalists for UKCOTY 2020 were:

* Best Luxury - Bentley Flying Spur

* Best Estate - BMW 3 Series

* Best Small Hatch - Mazda3

* Best Supermini - Renault Clio

* Best Crossover - Kia e-Niro

* Best Premium Crossover - Range Rover Evoque

* Best Cabriolet - Porsche 911

* Best Performance - Porsche Taycan

The UKCOTY Awards is an independent set of awards that shine the bright light of approval on the best new cars in the UK. Popular American automobile magazine Motor Trend has shortlisted the Tesla Model 3 as one of the three finalists for its 2020 Car of The Year award while also naming it as the best sports sedan on the market.