DETROIT - The Chevrolet Volt has been named the 2011 North American Car of the Year.
The North American Car of the Year is selected by a jury of 49 automotive journalists from Canada and the United States, representing newspapers, magazines, Web sites, television and radio shows.
This is the third time Chevrolet has won the North American Car of the Year, and the fourth time for General Motors. Most recently, the Chevrolet Malibu was the 2008 North American Car of the Year.
"It's a great honor to be recognized as the North American Car of the Year," said GM CEO Dan Akerson. "Since development began, we believed the Volt had the potential to transform the automotive industry."
The North American Car of the Year is the latest in a series of major awards presented to the Volt, which previously was named:
- Motor Trend 2011 Car of the Year
- Green Car Journal 2011 Green Car of the Year
- Car and Driver 10 Best for 2011
- Ward's AutoWorld 10 Best Engines for 2011
- Automobile Magazine 2011 Automobile of the Year
- 2010 Breakthrough Technology, by Popular Mechanics
"Such recognition provides customers with credible, expert endorsement of new models," said Akerson. "This is particularly important for vehicles like the Volt that feature significant new technologies."
The Volt has a total driving range of up to 379 miles, based on EPA estimates. For the first 35 miles, the Volt can drive gas- and tailpipe-emissions-free using a full charge of electricity stored in its 16-kWh lithium-ion battery. When the Volt's battery runs low, a gas-powered engine/generator seamlessly operates to extend the driving range another 344 miles on a full tank.
In December, the first Volts were delivered to retail customers in California, Texas, Washington D.C. and New York. Due to strong public interest, Volt U.S. production is being raised to 45,000 Volts in 2012 from 30,000.