From: Nichola Groom, Reuters, LOS ANGELES
Published November 19, 2010 06:55 AM

Chevy Volt wins Green Car of the Year

The Chevrolet Volt plug-in electric car, the centerpiece of a revitalized General Motors Co, was named 2011 Green Car of the Year on Thursday.

The highly anticipated Volt received the industry's top environmental honor the same day GM shares began trading -- the biggest U.S. IPO ever.


The Volt edged out the Nissan Leaf and three other gas-sipping cars for the prize, which is awarded by Green Car Journal.

"With the Volt we are making a bold pronouncement," said Joel Ewanick, GM's marketing chief, who accepted the award for the company. "We need to be more aware of CO2 and fuel efficiency and it's a great start, but we're many, many years away from making that leap to where we need to be."

Winning Green Car of the Year is yet another feather in the cap of the recovering 102-year-old automaker, which went from near-death in 2008 to a 2009 government bailout and bankruptcy to 2010 unlikely Wall Street flotation favorite.

General Motors' Volt, which its makers have touted as the symbol of a leaner and greener U.S. auto industry, is designed to run on electric power for about 40 miles, at which point it relies on a gasoline engine to charge the battery.

The Nissan Motor Co Ltd Leaf is a plug-in that runs fully on electric power. The Leaf will, on full charge, run for 100 miles or so, depending on road and weather conditions.

Other finalists for the award included Ford Motor Co's new Fiesta, which can achieve 40 miles per gallon in highway driving. It was the only finalist not to use electric drive.

Two hybrids, the Hyundai Motor Co Sonata Hybrid and Ford's Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, were also in the running.

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