The eco-friendly Chevy Volt just picked up the prestigious North American Car of the Year award at the Detroit Auto Show. The Volt beat out 13 other cars to win the sought-after title.
The award, which is given out by a jury of Canadian and American journalists, goes to the car that excels in categories including "innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value," according to The New York Times.
The runner-up cars were the Nissan Leaf and the Hyundai Sonata.
This vote of confidence could help make the Chevy Volt as ubiquitous on the highway as the Toyota Prius.
Thinking about picking one up, or just curious about what the big deal is? Surge Desk rounds up some details on the green machine.
It's new to the market
The Chevy Volt went on sale in the United States in December 2010. That month, 326 Volts were sold.
It's an electric-gas hybrid
An electric battery, which is charged by plugging into an outlet, powers the car for the first 25 to 50 miles. If your trip is taking you farther than that, there's a gas engine that allows you to keep driving. So the electric power is good for trips around town.
You have to keep it charged
To charge the Volt, you have to plug the 120-volt charger that comes with the car into an outlet in your garage, or you can invest in a 240-volt charger kit that you'll have to have installed in your garage. The 240-volt charger will juice up the battery in three or four hours. With a full charge and a full tank of gas, the Volt can go about 400 miles.
The Volt price tag might give you pause: It starts off at $41,000.
It's got some serious competition
The Nissan Leaf, which was also in the running for the Car of the Year honor, is an all-electric car. It costs less -- starting at around $32,000 -- and can go up to 140 miles on one charge. But it takes longer to charge, seven hours at 240 volts. And Ford recently announced a new Focus Electric. And, of course, the Toyota Prius and other hybrids have been on the market for a (relatively) long time.