In what’s been described as a game-changing moment in the auto industry, the Chevy Bolt EV has been awarded Motor Trend ’s coveted Car of the Year award for 2017. And this major score for an electric vehicle isn’t just in a “green” car category — it’s overall. This is only the second time in the award’s 68-year history that an electric vehicle has taken home the honor.
The plug-in Bolt EV can travel 238 miles on a single full charge. (Using a DC charger, the battery can be fast-charged to 90 miles in just 30 minutes.) After an available federal tax rebate of $7,500, the car’s sticker price is $29,995 — and additional tax incentives are available in some states. Chevy’s positioned itself in a unique space in the industry by being able to offer that impressive range at a price point of less than $30K, reports Motor Trend. In comparison, the Nissan Leaf, another popular all-electric car, has a range of 107 miles on a single charge, less than half that of the Chevy Bolt.
In addition to its range, several design innovations make this car stand out, too. For instance, it comes equipped with a braking technology called “Regen on Demand,” which allows the driver to pull a paddle on the steering wheel to slow down without using the actual brake pedal. According to Chevy, this helps convert energy into more electricity, which is then transferred back to the car’s battery.
The Bolt EV also won Green Car Journal ’s 2017 Green Car of the Year award and placed on Car and Driver ’s “10Best” list for the year. The hatchback-style car comes in eight snazzy colors. Chevy will still offer its hybrid Volt in 2017 as well, which travels 53 miles on battery power alone, and then switches to a backup gasoline engine if a driver needs more range.