General Motors' long-range electric car, the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt, was named as the North American Car of the Year, beating the Genesis G90 and the Volvo S90 during the recently held North American International Auto Show held early this month in Detroit, Michigan.
With the award for the Chevrolet Bolt, it became GM's crown jewel in its electric car lineup since the EV already won the same type of honor in two contests a few months ago, details USA Today.
The decision on the North American Car of the Year award was made by motoring journalists who regularly test-drive vehicles so it is their collective vote that defined the winner for the prestigious citation.
In the same event, the Chrysler Pacifica minivan was also named as the North American Utility of the Year, the first time that such award was handed out in the event.
The Pacifica has been regarded and commended for shedding the traditionally stodgy image of minivans by embracing technology, sleek design, and an alternative powertrain.
Meanwhile, the Honda Ridgeline pickup truck was also named the North American Truck of the Year.
The first US-made, mass-production EV
The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt is the first US-made, mass-produced, fully-electric car, beating Tesla Motors' Model 3 to production.
The vehicle has a range-per-charge of 238 miles, double than most electric cars on the market today except those from luxury electric automaker Tesla. But the Bolt, in many cases, is about half the price of Tesla's Model S or X. It just went on sale with a starting price of $37,495 before federal tax.
The Bolt was previously named Motor Trend Car of the Year and at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Green Car of the Year.
The Chevrolet Bolt is not to be confused with the Chevrolet Volt, a pioneering plug-in car with a backup gas engine. The Chevy Bolt is a pure electric vehicle and has no gas engine.
Chevy has been unabashed about trying to get out the message that it's first with a mainstream-priced fully-electric long range car.
Steve Mojaros, Chevrolet Marketing Manager, said that there has 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 Chevrolet or General Motors.
He made the statement when the Bolt won the Green Car of the Year award, given for environmentally friendly cars in November.
A multiple awardee
With a base price of $37,500 before incentives, GM's 238-mile electric hatchback is the first mass-priced electric car with a range of more than 200 miles.
It has already won numerous awards, including this site's Best Car to Buy title for the year.
Media days at the Detroit Auto Show always open with the announcement of the year's North American Car and Truck of the Year awards, and this year is no exception, notes Green Car Reports.
But green-car enthusiasts had a special reason to follow this year's awards, now broken into three categories: car, truck, and utility vehicle.
That was the chance that a battery-electric car, the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, would be dubbed the North American Car of the Year, an award that does not often go to "green" vehicles.
The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt came out of the market late last year. It needed to come to enjoy its head start from the upcoming Tesla Model 3 electric sedan, which is touted as its biggest competitor in the electric sedan market.
However, German automaker Volkswagen announced in October that it would also be launching an electric sedan called the Volkswagen I.D., which could go farther than the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt and the Tesla Model 3 on a single charge.
But since the Volkswagen I.D. is just a concept that was presented during the Paris Motor Show 2016 late last year, critics believe that it would take the German carmaker some more time to be able to launch the I.D. so a 2017 release date target is overly optimistic.
There were previous speculations as to how many units of 2017 Chevrolet Bolt that GM can ship in its first year and the enthusiasts believe that the number could be anywhere from 15,000 to 25,000.
The speculated figure would make it fewer than the 2014 Nissan Leaf, which shipped about 30,000 electric sedans when it came out that year.
The figure is also way below the 100,000 units that Tesla is eyeing for the Model 3 in a year when it is released in the second half of this year.
Analysts predict that the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt could ship as much as 75,000 units in its first year, because of its reasonable price of $37,495 before incentives and rated range of 238 miles on one single charge as per the EPA.
Many enthusiasts also believe that the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt is going to be a game changer and with the awards it is reaping, it appears staying true to form.
However, skeptics believe that GM would find it difficult to produce of 30,000 electric sedans in one year because unlike Tesla, it has to focus as well on the development of its other vehicle lines.
Read more on MasterHerald.com.