The 2011 Chevrolet Volt has pulled off its third big victory in less than a week, taking top honors as Green Car of the Year during a ceremony at the L.A. Auto Show.
The news comes just days after General Motors’ new plug-in hybrid was named both Motor Trend Car of the Year and Automobile magazine’s Automobile of the Year. While such honors don’t always measure up, industry observers say Volt’s strong showing should make consumers take a closer look at the breakthrough vehicle.
Set to begin reaching the first buyers in the coming weeks, Volt pairs both an electric drivetrain and a conventional gasoline engine. The vehicle is capable of getting between 25 and 50 miles per charge, depending on weather, driving patterns and other factors. But unlike a pure battery-electric vehicle, the Chevy, which GM prefers to call an “extended-range electric vehicle,” or E-REV, can keep on going by switching to gasoline power when the batteries run down.
The difference from a conventional hybrid is range and top speed, which can hit nearly 100 mph. But there is a cost, the 2011 Chevrolet Volt priced at about $41,000 before the $7,500 federal tax credit.