Auto Industry
12:28 pm
Tue November 16, 2010

Chevy Volt named 2011 Motor Trend Car of the Year

Motor Trend Magazine has named General Motor’s Chevrolet Volt the 2011 Car of the Year.

On its website, the magazine’s editor in chief said the Volt has “some of the most advanced engineering ever seen on an American production car.”

The Volt goes up to 40 miles on battery power. After that, a gasoline generator kicks in to power the electric motor.

Michelle Krebs is an analyst with Edmunds.com, and she's not the least bit surprised that the Volt won the award. She says the Chevy Volt "is a milestone vehicle in terms of its technology. It’s a very clever bridge between a pure gas engine and going all electric, which the infrastructure isn’t quite ready for."

Krebs adds that the award couldn't have come at a better time for GM, since the company is set to go public on Thursday, Nov. 18:

"It gives the consumers a good feeling about the company and that’s really good for the stock price and ultimately for the taxpayers who have funded GM’s bailout."

GM received more good news last week when General Electric announced it would buy Chevy Volts in bolk. The Detroit News reports that GE will "convert half its 30,000-vehicle global fleet to electrics, starting with 12,000 Volts. In partnership with its fleet customers, GE will have 25,000 electric cars on the road by 2015."

Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton reports that some analysts believe "the Volt could be to GM as the Prius is to Toyota."

The Volt will hit select showrooms in California, Texas, New York and Washington, D.C. in December. It will then roll out to other states including Michigan next spring.

The Volt sells for $41,000, but buyers can take advantage of a number of energy credits.