Last year, Hank attended the NAIAS auto show in Detroit, and gave us a rundown on the various green cars he saw there. I thought it would be good to take a look at last year's list and see how things have lined up for these companies. This was already a year when the majority of manufacturers attending the show had electric vehicles on display.
We've got details, and more photos, after the cut...
BYD The Chinese carmaker (whose name stands for "Build Your Dreams") was on the main floor this year. BYD is already producing plug-in hybrids in China, and their 2010 press briefing included plans for bringing their battery powered e6 crossover to the United States in the second half of 2010. Whether the e6 is ready for buyers in the North American markets is another question. But BYD has definitely been making forward strides over the past couple of years.
Fisker At the end of last year Fisker broke off an agreement to have batteries supplied by EnerDel, and is instead going forward with A123 as its battery partner. Fisker was at the LA Auto Show, so they haven't disappeared. The Karma's production is now expected to begin late in 2011, and they are also working on a family-oriented vehicle called Nina for 2012.
Toyota A plug-in hybrid Prius (sporting the solar roof, which aids in cooling the car when it is parked in the sun) was at the center of Toyota's display at this year's show. Toyota is bringing 150 of these to the US, as well as a few hundred more in Japan and Europe for testing. A display at this year's show noted that, "Toyota has more hybrids on the road than all other automakers combined." Toyota is planning to ramp up production of the Prius to one million vehicles worldwide in 2011. But with the number of other automakers now also getting on the hybrid wagon, how much longer will this remain true?
Honda The hybrid version of Honda's CR-Z coupe was unveiled at the show this year. The FCX Clarity fuel-cell hybrid was also on prominent display, although it is a limited production test market vehicle.
Cadillac The Platinum XTS concept unveiled this year is a plug-in hybrid sedan offering closer to home for the luxury line than their earlier Provoq hydrogen fuel-cell crossover concept.
Ford Perhaps the most exciting news for Ford was having the Ford Fusion Hybrid was named Car of the Year. Ford also made a major announcement that they were bringing battery design and manufacture back in house. The move represents a $450 million investment in research and production, and clearly electric cars are going to be a part Ford's mix from now on.
Chevrolet Of course, this is the year that GM's range-extended electric-drive Volt will be hitting the streets. In addition, Chevy also has unveiled the Cruze, an efficient, conventional car with a 1.4L Ecotec turbo engine that can get 40 MPG.
Dodge The parent corporation, Chrysler, is one of the car companies that was forced into bankruptcy last year, and as a consequence, the company doesn't seem to be doing much innovative development at this point. Fiat, which now owns Chrysler, had a concept electric version of the small Fiat 500, but Chrysler had no press conferences at this year's show.
Lexus The HS 250h is, in the words of the Lexus press release, "the world’s first dedicated luxury hybrid." However, in comparison to other vehicles, the 35 MPG rating doesn't seem especially impressive at this point.
Other notable entries we didn't mention in last year's list include Audi (who have this year's Green Car of the Year), Tesla, Mini, Hyundai, Nissan (whose sole presence at this year's show was with the Leaf), Mitsubishi, and Volkswagen.
What is encouraging is that what we think of as green features are infiltrating into more and more of the automakers' lines. Not everyone makes their vehicle purchases based on the environmental effects of their vehicle. When an automaker can combine environmental benefits with mainstream appeal, that's a positive all around. And the carmakers appear to be moving in that direction.
written by VeruTEK Green Technologies, January 25, 2010
written by Dawn Fenton, January 27, 2010
written by Best Bimmer Guide, June 10, 2010
|< Prev||Next >|