Winning Green Car of the Year yesterday wrapped up an award-winning week for the all-electric Chevrolet Bolt.
Earlier this week on the eve of the L.A. Auto Show, the Bolt was named Motor Trend Car of the Year. The electric car was also named a finalist for the North American Car of the Year that will be awarded in January.
As the Bolt rolls out to dealer lots in December, it will be the first mass-market, affordable all-electric car that can go 238 miles on a charge. Tesla has battery options that can carry the Model S and Model X much farther than 238 miles, but the Bolt’s starting price of $37,495 is about half the price of these luxury models.
“There’s been a lot of talk about building an affordable electric car with a 200-mile range that brings electric vehicles to the mainstream, but only one manufacturer has done that, and it’s us,” Chevrolet marketing manager Steve Majoros said.
All five finalists were plug-in models this year. There other four finalists were the Toyota Prius Prime, Kia Optima plug-in, BMW 330e Performance, and the plug-in hybrid version of the Chrysler Pacifica minivan.
Nominations go to the new car models deemed by Green Car Journal judges as being the most environmentally friendly and technologically advanced.
Chevrolet has done well in the Green Car of the Year award lately. Last year, the redesigned Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid took the top honor.
Offering an extended range model may help Chevrolet convince car shoppers that an all-electric car like the Bolt can take away their fears of being stranded.
“The new electric Bolt is a breakthrough vehicle,” said Ron Cogan, editor publisher of the Green Car Journal. “I have been covering this for 20 years and ‘range anxiety’ has always been an issue. Suddenly, the Bolt at 238 miles of all electric driving…this car becomes a game changer.”
Chevrolet hopes winning such awards will help change its image as being too truck heavy, and for parent company GM’s much-resented decision to kill off the EV1 all-electric car.
“We need to continually reshape people’s perception of Chevrolet,” Majoros said. “Everybody knows Chevrolet has historically been strong in trucks, SUVs and performance cars, but winning Green Car of the Year two years in a row says we’re not the General Motors and Chevrolet people thought they knew.”