Chevy Bolt electric car wins North American Car of the Year award

The Bolt snags an award that doesn't often go to 'green' vehicles.

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    Journalists look over the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV after it is unveiled during a General Motors keynote address at the 2016 CES trade show in Las Vegas.
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Media days at the Detroit Auto Show always open with the announcement of the year's North American Car and Truck of the Year awards, and this year is no exception.

But green-car enthusiasts had a special reason to follow this year's awards, now broken into three categories: car, truck, and utility vehicle.

That was the chance that a battery-electric car, the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, would be dubbed the North American Car of the Year—an award that doesn't often go to "green" vehicles.

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Monday morning, the winners were announced. And the Bolt EV was declared the winner of the car category. 

At a base price of $37,500 before incentives, GM's 238-mile electric hatchback is the first mass-priced electric car with a range of more than 200 miles.

It has already won numerous awards, including this site's Best Car to Buy title for the year.

The other contenders were the Genesis G90 and Volvo S90. The former is a large luxury four-door sedan from Hyundai's newly renamed luxury arm.

The S90 is the same from the Chinese-owned Swedish company known for safety and durability of its products, which are now moving up toward full luxury status.

The other category to watch for green-car fans was the North America Utility Vehicle of the Year, where the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica was declared the winner. The vehicle is an entirely redesigned version of Fiat Chrysler's legendary minivans.

The Pacifica range that competed for the award includes a plug-in hybrid version, dubbed simply Pacifica Hybrid.

With an EPA-rated 33 miles of range, it is the first and only minivan offering all-electric running, not to mention capacity for eight passengers.

The Jaguar F-Pace, the first utility vehicle from England's Jaguar, is a sporty take on an all-wheel-drive utility vehicle, and has an optional diesel engine.

The third utility contender was the Mazda CX-9, an all-new and sleek version of the Japanese "Zoom-Zoom" brand's largest SUV, which holds up to eight (if the last two are small).

As for the truck category, the three contenders were all pickup trucks: the Ford F-Series Super Duty (gigantic pickup trucks), the Honda Ridgeline, and the Nissan Titan.

In this case, the more car-like Ridgeline was declared the winner. It is the greenest of the three, with unitary construction and only a V-6 engine.

But it's the other two categories where green cars had a major shot at taking home a trophy.

In the spirit of full disclosure, three Internet Brands Automotive editors are among the 50 journalists selected by their peers to be jurors for the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards.

This story originally appeared on Green Car Reports.

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