The first electric vehicle to capture the Green Car of the Year award presented by Green Car Journal is General Motors Chevy Volt. The Volt is a plug-in hybrid electric car that can go about 40 miles on one charge and about 300 more while a tank of gasoline recharges the battery.
It was chosen by a panel of experts over four other finalists - 2011 models of the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, all-electric Nissan LEAF, and gas-powered but high-mileage Ford Fiesta.
At present, the Chevy Volt has only been available on a limited and lease basis through pilot programs with electric companies but is expected to go on sale this December in California and six other selected areas. The four-seat Volt carries a hefty, Government and Union set price tag of about $40,000, less a federal incentive tax credit of $7,500 in taxpayer funded monies.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced Thursday the city and the Department of Water and Power are expanding a program of additional (government based) financial incentives and charging-station upgrades designed to make it easier for motorists to use electric vehicles.
Villaraigosa said Los Angeles and other Southern California cities and utilities have "made a lot of headway" in the year since he outlined the regional plan to pave the way for a rush of environment-friendly cars in 2010-11.
As if to underscore the timeliness of all this, Villaraigosa spoke at the Convention Center minutes before the 2011 Chevrolet Volt hybrid was named the Green Car of the Year.
Presenters said the Volt's victory marks a milestone in the rise of mass-production plug-in cars ... but some doubt the viability of an automobile (with only 10,000 units to be produced in the first year and 25% to be owned by the Federal Government - that's you and me) that appears to be "Green" on the outside, yet has many environmental downsides created to support the technologies that places this vehicle on the road.
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