And the 2017 Green Car of the Year is…

This year’s Green Car of the Year finalists were nothing short of incredible.

Presented earlier this morning at the Los Angeles Auto Show by Green Car Journal, each vehicle is remarkable in its own right. And, as editor and publisher of Green Car Journal Ron Cogan pointed out, “More efficient vehicles reduce petroleum use and greenhouse gas emissions, while also saving you money at the pump.”

On to the contenders:

The BMW 330e adds a plug to the already high-performance vehicle and gives it the ability to drive 14 miles on electricity alone. The Chevrolet Bolt EV is the first mainstream electric vehicle with more than 200 miles of range. The Chrysler Pacifica is the first plug-in hybrid minivan and comes with 30 miles of electric range and 530 miles of total range. The Kia Optima has both hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions, with the plug-in version getting 27 miles of electric range before shifting back into pure hybrid mode. The Prius Prime more than doubled the electric range of its predecessor and now allows for 25 miles of gas-free driving.

However, only one of these vehicles could emerge the winner, and Green Car Journal’s board of panelists decided to award Green Car of the Year to the Chevy Bolt.

The Chevrolet Bolt EV

The Chevrolet Bolt EV, Green Car of the Year 2017

img_5145“There are moments in time when achievement stands out, when you can look back and say, that’s when things change,” Cogan said as he presented the award to Chevrolet’s Marketing Director, Steve Majoros, “Our Green Car of the Year is a milestone, a breaker of barriers, and a harbinger of things to come.”

It’s hard to argue with that logic. Green-car enthusiasts have been waiting for years (decades?) for an electric vehicle with extended range that won’t break the bank. And now they have it. Coming in at under $30,000 (after the federal tax credit), could the Chevy Bolt be the car that finally brings EVs into the mainstream?

One would hope. October’s electric vehicle sales were anemic, dropping by more than 36 percent from September. The Bolt hits showrooms early next year, and when it does, we’ll find out whether it lives up to its high expectations. But until then, it can enjoy its status as 2017’s premier green vehicle.


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