Chevy Volt and Nissan LEAF
In the first quarter of 2011 where a number of car awards and auto shows were held, two innovative electronic vehicles (EVs) unsurprisingly took home the top awards. These cars are the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf. Among car enthusiasts and critics, these two cars lead the market as examples of affordable, mass-produced, zero-emission EV cars that are slowly changing the world of vehicles.
These mass-produced cars are to be widely released in major markets all over the world in the last quarter of 2011 due to consumer demand and positive critical response.
Chevy Volt and Nissan LEAF awards are considered to be the most coveted in the world by major car companies. Nissan LEAF, which is an acronym for Leading, Environmental-friendly, Affordable, family-car, is a five-door, five-seater, electronic vehicle hatchback that was introduced to the market in the latter part of 2010. It can travel 100 miles per charge and it runs on 80 kW AC motor powered by lithium-ion battery pack. The best part is that it is quite affordable for an EV, tested only for about $35,000+.
This 100-percent electric vehicle won 2011 World Car of the Year award from the New York International Auto Show, beating out the BMW 5-series and the Audi A8 among others. The World Car of the Year award is given to the vehicle selected by a jury of 48 international automotive journalists from 22 countries to the car that holds balance in innovative design and mass appeal.
Nissan Leaf also won the prestigious European Car of the Year after journalists and automotive representatives from over 23 European countries voted for it. Nominees for the award must be available in at least 5 European countries and must have a considerable sales percentage. They are judged on their design, comfort, safety, economic efficiency, functionality, performance, environmental requirements, and price.
Green Company Car of the Year
Winning these two awards, the LEAF was backed up by the recent recognition that the Nissan Company also received. Nissan, one of the leading auto companies in environmental leadership with its long-term vision in sustainability, was awarded the “Green Company of the Year Award” at the 15th Annual Urban Wheel Awards.
On the other hand, the Chevrolet Volt was awarded the 2011 North American Car of the Year in January after it garnered votes from 49 automotive journalists from the United States and Canada. The Chevrolet Volt is a plug-in hybrid electronic vehicle which travels 35 miles on electricity stored in its 16 kWh lithium-ion battery and another 344 miles on full tank of gas. It was hailed at the most fuel-efficient car sold in the United States by the US Environmental Protection Agency.
By winning this year’s North American Car of the Year, the Chevy Volt beat out the Nissan LEAF and the Hyundai Sonata by a large margin of votes. This year’s award was given to the most technologically-driven car.
These Chevy Volt and Nissan LEAF awards showcase the possible shift in the automotive trends in the current market. It seems that the movement towards the creation of sustainable and zero emission cars is finally able to reach out to the masses with the mass-produced EVs like the Volt and the LEAF, especially since the Volt and the LEAF are going to be officially released to a wider market at the end of 2011.
And because of the recognition and the public acceptance that the Chevy Volt and Nissan LEAF awards have garnered for these affordable EVs, we can already look forward to the creation of more and more environmental-friendly yet still affordable cars in the future.