News Roundup: Car of the Year is an EV, Minivans go Plug-in, and E-Cars Dominate LA Show

A lot of electric vehicle news this week. The Los Angeles Auto Show happened this past week and that show is traditionally where alternative powertrains and vehicle options are unveiled. This year was no different as manufacturers vied for the press’ attention. We have a surprise car of the year announcement from Motor Trend, a few price announcements for some plug-ins and battery-electrics, and a lot more. Let’s get started.

In a big surprise, the Chevrolet Bolt EV was announced as the 2017 Car of the Year by Motor Trend magazine. Not “alternative” or “green” car of the year, but overall car of the year without exception. Very awesome.

Nissan has priced the 2017 LEAF electric car, with manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) starting at $30,680 plus destination, before incentives. Nissan has also announced that the 30kWh battery previously only available on upper-end models of the LEAF is now available across the board. See details here.

Chrysler had announced that there would be a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version of the new Pacifica minivan coming late this year and has now begun production. The retail price for this 80 MPGe minivan will be just $41,995 before incentives and delivery charges. Find out details here.

Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Executive

Porsche plans to add a long-wheelbase version to the Panamera plug-in hybrid. The new option was shown at the LA Auto Show as the Executive model.

Volkswagen unveiled the new-generation e-Golf plug-in electric model of the Golf hatchback. The 2017 e-Golf has a longer range, more power, and several new features. Read more here.

Honda has added a new leasing plan for the Clarity Fuel Cell. For $369 a month, fuel included, potential owners can lease the 2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell for 36 months. The car enters dealerships in California in December.

Hyundai adds unique ad-based car sharing and su

Volvo plans to demonstrate self-driving trucks in Korea in the next 3-5 years, the company announced. Volvo is the world leader in “road train” technology. Read more about the announcement here.

The first Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid truck made as a “horsebox” has been sold in Europe and delivered to its new owner. Read about it here.

Toyota is exploring hydrogen fuel cells for heavy-duty applications and Class A trucks. A new study has begun with this idea in mind, scaling up the Toyota Mirai’s fuel cell stack.


T&E is reporting that electric car sales in Europe doubled in 2015 and have hit 1 percent of the region’s total automotive market share. The Transport and Environment report also says that 2016 sales figures to-date have Europe on track to beat 2015 and reach the 200,000 plug-in vehicle sales total for the year.


Navigant Research released a report ranking electric vehicle charging network companies. The report pitted 12 companies against one another. Each runs a public charging network and EV charging services. Read the report here.