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Green Cars: The New Black

Green Cars: The New Black

The Chevrolet Volt was named the 2011 Car of the Year at the North American International Auto Show. (Photo courtesy of GM)

Host: Rebecca Williams
Show date: 01/11/2011

In past years, most of the so-called “green cars” at the North American International Auto Show were concept cars – not ready for prime time. This year is different, as Tracy Samilton reports:

The Toyota Prius has been America’s premier environmentally friendly car for ten years. Now, the car has some serious competition. Both the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf have an EPA fuel economy rating the equivalent of more than 90 miles to the gallon.

Brad Berman is founder of plug in cars dot com.

“Suddenly it makes the Prius’s 50 mpg seem mild, Now it’s Toyota’s turn to say, hey, we’re still relevant.”

Toyota is turning the Prius into an entire brand. People going to the show will be able to see three new Prius vehicles, including a plug-in being unveiled in Detroit.

For the Environment Report, I’m Tracy Samilton.

AUDIO: “And the 2011 North American Car of the Year is... the Chevrolet Volt.”

(cheers and applause)

The Volt beat out the Hyundai Sonata and Nissan Leaf to take the big prize. The Volt’s a part-electric, part-hybrid car.

With every automaker investing heavily in electric and hybrid technology... it makes you wonder what we’ll be driving five, 10, 50 years from now. Tracy Samilton covers the auto industry for Michigan Radio. She joins me now to talk about this.

So Tracy – we’ve been hearing predictions about the death of the internal combustion engine for a decade – are those predictions coming true?

The North American International Auto Show

A related news story about the Car of the Year Award

How electric cars work


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