Chevrolet Volt Named Automobile of the Year

In naming the Volt their Automobile of the Year, AUTOMOBILE Magazine editors wrote:  "This is the most sophisticated, most important vehicle on the road today. It won’t just change what we drive, but also how we drive. Owners will plug in at night, heat or cool their cabin before they leave the garage, and adopt new driving styles to maximize their electric range. Then, when the battery is depleted, they’ll mindlessly motor on; free of the limitations that accompanies pure electric vehicles."

As the world’s first mass-produced electric vehicles with extended range, the Volt has a total driving range of about 350 miles. For the first 25 to 50 miles, the Volt drives gas- and tailpipe-emissions-free using electricity stored in its 16-kWh lithium-ion battery. When the Volt’s battery runs low, a gasoline-powered engine/generator seamlessly operates to extend the driving range more than 300 miles on a full tank.

"We are very grateful for this prestigious recognition from AUTOMOBILE Magazine," said Ewanick, who drove a Volt 2,394 miles from Detroit to Los Angeles for the show. "Automobile of the Year is a testament to the pioneering technology of the Volt, as well as the talent, intelligence and hard work of everyone at GM who made it a reality."

The Volt was first shown as a concept in January, 2007 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. In June of that year, GM’s Board of Directors approved the start of product development for the Volt and the Voltec electric propulsion system.

In September, 2008, the production version of the Volt debuted during GM’s Centennial celebration. This month, retail production of the Chevrolet begins at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly, with the first retail customer deliveries in December.

The full report from AUTOMOBILE Magazine appears in the January issue of the magazine (on newsstands in early-December) and online at

Chevrolet last received the AUTOMOBILE Magazine Automobile of the Year in 2001 for the Chevrolet Corvette Z06.