The Detroit Auto Show kicked off this week with a slew of fantastic electric and hybrid vehicles ranging from the purely conceptual to the near production-ready. Electric vehicles were so prominently featured that they prompted the convention to open Electric Avenue, a 37,000-square-foot showcase where visitors could see and test-drive evs! Without further ado, check out this year’s Top 5 from the Detroit Auto Show.
Honda’s CR-Z has looks reminiscent of the early-to-mid-90s CRX, but sports a full hybrid drivetrain. Slated to be released later this year, this small hatchback has only a modest 36 mpg in the city and 38 on the highway (numbers that can definitely be improved), but it is undoubtably a step in the right direction.
The Fiat 500, that famed little Italian car, has finally made it state-side in full-electric form, thanks to Chrysler’s EV technology. This car has no official release date but there is strong support for it here in the states and signs that Chrysler and Fiat are moving towards a greener future. Rumor also has it that this car is going to be fast. A speedy, small, cheap EV? What more could we ask for.
Although the name might be a bit boring, this streamlined VW is the first to sport a full hybrid drivetrain. Under the hood sits a 1.4 Liter Inline 4 Cylinder Engine partnered with a 20 kWatt motor. Currently being considered for production, this car gets an estimated 45 mpg and will also feature an all-electric mode, although no specific range has been defined.
Ford has designed what they call a World Car; which means the new Ford Focus will sell in the U.S., European and Japanese markets and will be based off exactly the same platform. Ford also confirmed that this car will be all-electric by 2011 and will support a 80-100 mile range, which means Ford will be the first company to produce an all-electric car for the entire world market.
Toyota, the current leader in hybrid technology, has released this beautiful FT-CH concept, which is a full hybrid and is being tauted as a cheaper, younger, and smaller version of the Prius. We can only hope this car is released in the near future, as Toyota’s existing hybrid technology paired with a smaller, lighter vehicle heralds significant gains in MPG.