LOS ANGELES - The 2011 Chevrolet Volt has been named Green Car Journal's 2011 Green Car of the Year. The Volt is the first-ever electric vehicle to take the prize. 

"This has been a long time coming," said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal and editor of GreenCar.com. "The electric vehicles that were test marketed in the 1990s tantalized us, but were without a solid business case. What a difference a decade makes. Now, Chevrolet has stepped up with an all-encompassing package in its Volt extended-range electric car -- a car deserving of the title 2011 Green Car of the Year." 

The Green Car of the Year jury, composed of six environmental and automotive experts along with Green Car Journal editors, selected the 2011 Chevrolet Volt from a field of five finalists that also included the Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, Lincoln MKZ Hybrid and Nissan Leaf. 

This year's jurors included Carl Pope, chairman of the Sierra Club; Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council; Jean-Michel Cousteau, president of Ocean Futures Society, and Matt Petersen, president of Global Green USA. Also, Jay Leno, noted auto enthusiast and host of the "Tonight Show," as well as automotive icon Carroll Shelby joined Green Car Journal editors in rounding out the 2011 jury. 

Green Car Journal has been unveiling the Green Car of the Year winner at the LA Auto Show every year since 2005.