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Chevrolet Volt and Opel Ampera Voted European "Car of the Year 2012" +VIDEO

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2012 Chevrolet Volt

2012 Geneva Motor Show Press Pass Coverage

GENEVA March 5, 2012; The Opel Ampera and the Chevrolet Volt electric cars with extended-range capability today won the European “Car of the Year 2012” award voted by a panel of 59 judges from 23 European nations. The Ampera/Volt 330 points against the Volkswagen Up with 281 and Ford Focus with 256.

For the first time, the final selection was made in the context of the Geneva International Motor Show. Opel/Vauxhall CEO Karl-Friedrich Stracke and Chevrolet President and Managing Director for Europe Susan Docherty received the award from Car of the Year panel Hakan Matson.

Watch the Award highlights

The Ampera and the Volt emerged as the joint overall winner in a field of seven finalists. Initially, 35 recently launched vehicles entered the contest. The selection criteria applied by the judges were based on attributes such as design, comfort, performance and especially innovative technologies as well as efficiency – areas where the Ampera and the Volt excel.

"Our car demonstrates that electric driving can be fun and reliable without ever compromising the owners’ lifestyle,” Docherty said. “It is a proud moment for us and an honor to receive this award from Europe’s leading jury of automotive journalists."

Said Stracke: “This encourages us further to continue our leadership role in the area of e-mobility.”

The Volt and the Ampera have won many international awards including the “World Green Car of the Year 2011” and the “North American Car of the Year 2011” award. Volt and Ampera also received the maximum 5-star Euro NCAP award.

The Ampera and the Volt are the first electric vehicles in the market that can go anywhere anytime. A 16 kWh lithium ion battery powers the 111kW/150 hp electric motor. Depending on the style of driving and road conditions, distance of between 40 and 80 kilometers can be covered in the purely battery-operated mode, completely free of emissions. The wheels of the car are always powered electrically. In extended-range mode, which activates whenever the battery has reached its minimum state of charge, the gasoline engine drives a generator that supplies the electric drive unit. The range extender enables an operating radius of 500 kilometers.

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