(DETROIT) -- Automotive journalists selected the Chevrolet Volt as the North American car of the year for 2011 on Monday.
It will be next year before the Volt goes on sale nationwide. "We are very bullish on the Volt so we are continuously monitoring and watching and when the time presents itself when the country is ready for more we are absolutely prepared and interested in giving them more Volts", says Chevrolet's Pamela Fletcher, who expects to sell about 45,000 of them.
The cars run on electricity for 40 miles before a backup gas engine takes over. The Volt costs about $41,000 before a $7,500 tax credit drops the price.
Nissan is ramping up production of the Leaf and Ford just introduced the electric Focus. "It's important that we get these vehicles out there, get them launched and then get the customers and country frankly to realize these are important vehicles and this is the way we ought to go in the country", says Ford Chairman Bill Ford. With gas prices rising he expects demand for electric cars to grow, though it'll be next year before most Americans have the opportunity to drive them.
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