It seems like the 2011 North American Car of the Year just gets better all the time. GM just installed a carport with 10 charging stations to juice up their plug-in hybrid electric Chevy Volts before they send them out into the world. The carport is located at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant, where all Volts are born, and has a 20kW solar array. It’s nice to know that one of our favorite green cars greets its owner with a battery full of sunlight.

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As our new friend Stewart Brand told us, driving an electric car is a good start, “no matter where your electricity comes from, even if it comes from coal, it is providing less emissions than if you were driving with gasoline and diesel,” but, he added, “if it’s coming from wind, or solar, or nuclear, now you’re getting definitely clean transportation energy.” Brand is right on the money, electric cars are great, but electric cars charged with renewable energy are ideal.

It is fabulous that GM is sending their Volts out on the right foot and even better that they are showcasing customers (like Robert deLeuze, shown above) who are continuing the clean energy charge with their Volts at home. The Volt can go 35 miles on a purely electric engine before its super efficient gasoline-mode taps in to run the car. With some Volt customers going up to 1,000 miles between gasoline fill ups, we’d say this plug-in hybrid electric model is going strong into a clean transportation future.

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All photos provided by GM