2017 Chevy Bolt EV electric car wins North American Car of the Year award

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, road test, California coastline, Sep 2016

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, road test, California coastline, Sep 2016

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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.

DON'T MISS: Chevrolet Bolt EV: Green Car Reports' Best Car To Buy 2017

This 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.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

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2017 Genesis G90

2017 Genesis G90

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2017 Volvo S90 T6 AWD Inscription

2017 Volvo S90 T6 AWD Inscription

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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.

ALSO SEE: 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid: first drive of plug-in hybrid minivan

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.

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

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2016 Mazda CX-9

2016 Mazda CX-9

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2017 Jaguar F-Pace

2017 Jaguar F-Pace

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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.

CHECK OUT: Few green cars up for North American Car & Truck of the Year awards

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).

2017 Honda Ridgeline, 2016 Detroit Auto Show

2017 Honda Ridgeline, 2016 Detroit Auto Show

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2017 Ford Super Duty First Drive

2017 Ford Super Duty First Drive

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2017 Nissan Titan, California Press Drive, July 2016

2017 Nissan Titan, California Press Drive, July 2016

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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.

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