Chevrolet Volt tops final field of seven
The Chevrolet Volt, also sold as Opel Ampera or Vauxhall Ampera in certain European markets, topped a field of seven finalists for the 2012 European Car of the Year Award. Nissan’s LEAF picked up the award in 2011.
The award is voted on this year by 59 automotive journalists representing 23 European countries. As such, it is more prestigious than an award given by any individual magazine. In addition to the Volt, this years finalists included vehicles from Citroën, Fiat, Ford, Range Rover, Toyota and VW. The award can only go to a vehicle released within the previous twelve months.
When the LEAF received the award last year, it was the first electric car to take the honor. With the Volt/Ampera win this year comes the recognition by those that often lead the public in the recognition of automotive trends, that perhaps the move toward alternative fueled vehicles should be taken more seriously than it is by a broad cross section of the driving public – in any corner of the world.
If you pick up most any automotive magazine in the U.S. today, you will find what most of us refer to as enthusiast magazines. These journalists are all about the horsepower, speed, handling and braking capabilities of the machines that they typically write about. We would imagine the same to be true of the European magazines that sponsor the European Car of the Year award. That such a diverse group would select not only alternative fuel vehicles these past two years, but primarily battery-powered alternative fuel vehicles, speaks to the importance of these new cars to our driving future.
The announcement was made on the eve of the Geneva Motor Show. Look for more significant news to come from the show over the next few days, including the reveal of the all new Infiniti EMERG-E, Infiniti’s take on an electric car with an on-board gasoline generator.