The Chevrolet Volt has a more efficient 1.5-liter engine-generator that creates onboard electricity to power the Volt’s motors for a total 420 miles.The Volt beat a field of finalists that includes the Toyota Prius, Honda Civic, Hyundai Sonata and Audi A3 E-Tron.
“Unlike the first generation where we had no owner base and had to figure it out, we now have a base of 80,000 loyal buyers,” said Steve Majoros, marketing director for Chevrolet cars and crossovers.
The 2016 Volt is the second generation of the hybrid, which went on sale this fall with a range of 53 miles on electricity alone — beating the automaker’s prediction that the second-generation car would reach 50 miles under battery power.
“This is the first time in Green Car of the Year history that a vehicle has won the award in two succeeding model generations,” said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal.
“Considering all the brands and models evaluated in the award program, that’s quite a statement. The Chevrolet Volt was a standout when it won 2011 Green Car of the Year and continues in that role today as the 2016 Green Car of the Year.”
The other finalists of the awarded were recognized:
The Toyota Prius was redesigned for the 2016 model year;
The Honda Civic is now in its 10th generation and was nominated for getting the fuel economy of a hybrid with a conventional gasoline engine;
The Hyundai Sonata is available as a conventional, hybrid and plug-in hybrid that can go up to 24 miles on electricity alone;
The Audi E-tron is a plug-in hybrid. The five-door hatchback can go 19 miles on electricity alone after which the gasoline engine acts as a generator to continue driving.
The annual award is determined by a panel of independent automotive expert judges.
The BMW i3, a plug-in hybrid made of carbon fiber, was the winner last year.
Last month, the Green Car Journal rescinded Green Car of the Year awards given to the 2009 VW Jetta TDI and 2010 Audi A3 TDI after Volkswagen’s admission of using a software that altered emission calculations in more than 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide.