Interview with Ron Cogan, Editor & Publisher of
Green Car Journal
LOS ANGELES --
Chevrolet Volt is the winner of the 2011 Green Car of the Year award.
The announcement was made during a press conference on Nov. 18,
the second media day at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Other finalists
were the Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, Lincoln MKZ Hybrid
and the Nissan LEAF. Nominees of the award must go on sale by Jan.
1 of the award year. The Volt is the first-ever electric vehicle
to be given the award.
"In the end, the
jurors felt the Volt was most deserving of the award," said
Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal. "It
raised the automotive bar in a more powerful way than any of the
The Volt will
deliver 25 to 50 miles of all-electric driving on a single charge.
Then, an on-board gasoline generator will provide power to drive
the vehicle for another 300 miles. It eliminates the idea of "range
anxiety" or worrying about getting stranded when the battery
runs out of power.
"I believe it was
important that the Chevy Volt removes the range limitation that
you have with electric vehicles," Cogan added. "The Nissan
LEAF is a great vehicle. They've really made a commitment to step
up and commercialize battery-electric cars, which I think is a great
thing. People are often hesitant as they try new technology. What
the Volt does is offer a certain amount of range on zero-emission
electric power. Then, an internal combustion engine creates electricity
to power the wheels. There's no limitation."
The Green Car
of the Year jury is made up of six environmental and automotive
experts along with five Green Car Journal editors. Jurors
included Sierra Club Chairman Carl Pope, Natural Resources Defense
Council President Frances Beinecke, Ocean Futures Soceity President
Jean-Mitchel Cousteau, Global Green USA President Matt Petersen,
talk show host Jay Leno and automotive icon Carroll Shelby.
"This is a pretty
tough year for Green Car of the Year," the editor and publisher
explained. "There are many vehicles to select from the final
five. Getting there was no easy thing. Each of those finalists has
great merit whether it's the gasoline Ford Fiesta that gets 40 mpg
or the Nissan LEAF that's all-electric, the Chevy Volt, our winner
that gives you that additional range, the Lincoln MKZ hybrid, which
they've priced at the same price the conventional one, which is
a milestone for any automaker and the Sonata Hybrid, which is the
first hybrid of that brand. They did an exceptional job."
The amount of
votes for the Volt and the other finalises received were not released.
However, we can confirm that the Volt received a large majority
of the votes.
"We don't release
how many votes, just a majority vote determines Green Car of the
Year," Cogan said. "We're very confident about the decision
and I think the Volt's going to make a big difference."
The award has
been announced at the Los Angeles Auto Show since its inception
in 2005. The L.A. Auto Show was the first major auto show to offer
electric vehicles on display at the same time that they were available
in dealers. The Volt and the LEAF are both hitting California dealer
showrooms in December. Both EVs will be available across the country
in the next six months to a year.
"The Green Car of
the Year award validates the Chevrolet team's promise to deliver
a practical electric vehicle," said Joel Ewanick, vice president
of U.S. marketing for General Motors. "The Volt is a transformational
technology that will lead our industry into a new age of vehicle
Volt has won many awards including the 2011 Car and Driver Ten Best
Cars, 2011 Motor Trend Car of the Year and the 2011 Automobile of
the Year (by Automobile Magazine). In addition, the Volt won the
2009 Green Car Vision Award and the 2009 Festival International