COTY’s UK jurors gave the Vauxhall/Opel Ampera and Chevrolet Volt the award for ‘Car of the Year’ with the highest score of 47 points. The judges, which consisted of 59 leading automotive journalists from 23 nations in Europe, paid tribute to these groundbreaking electric vehicles. The winner -- Vauxhall Ampera / Chevrolet Volt – won with 330 points, with a considerable lead against runner-up: VW Up (with 281 points) and Ford Focus (with 256).
This also marks the first time ever that they made their selections in the context of the 2012 Geneva International Motor Show.
The President of the COTY judging panel, Hakan Matson, handed the “Car of the Year 2012” award to Karl-Friedrich Stracke, the CEO of Opel/Vauxhall, and Susan Docherty, Chevrolet’s President and Managing Director for Europe. There had been seven COTY finalists before the Ampera and the Volt later emerged as the joint overall winner.
At the start, there were 35 newly launched vehicles in this contest. The judges made their choices based on selection criteria like design, comfort, performance and innovative technologies, and efficiency. Actually, the Ampera and the Volt are the first electric vehicles in the market that can go anytime to any location.
Its 111kW/150 hp electric motor is powered by a 16 kWh lithium ion battery. The automaker claims that a 40-80 kilometer distance may be covered when it’s in the purely battery-operated mode (totally emission-free) but there may be variation depending on the driving style and road conditions.
The cars’ wheels are powered electrically. When being driven in extended-range mode, the battery is prepared to reach its minimum state of charge. It’s the gasoline engine boosts a generator that supplies the electric drive unit. This range-extender results to an operating radius of 500 kilometers.