Electric Vehicles and Renewed Energy Steal the Show in Detroit

Attending an international auto show is akin to putting a kid in a candy store. There is something for everyone. However, the story at the Detroit Auto Show this year is all about the electric car and resurgence of the Big Three automakers in the aftermath of the global recession. In 2010, we saw the announcement of the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt.

This year, Ford is making huge waves by releasing an onslaught of electric vehicles and plug-in’s starting with the Ford Focus EV and the Ford C-Max plug-in. In addition, Ford unveiled the Vertrek Concept Vehicle which utilizes Ford’s EcoBoost technology. Personally, I’m looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the Ford Focus EV. Because of its 100 mile or so range, it is likely to compete with the Nissan Leaf, though most of us really don’t drive that in a day, so an EV with a 100 mile range will suit most people’s driving behavior. Ford’s partnership with Geek Squad from Best Buy to install the home chargers seems to be a great marketing tool for the company. Ford is clearly leading the resurgence of Detroit.

Those of you who don’t think electric vehicles or plug-in hybrids don’t drive well, you only need to look to Winding Road’s review of the Chevy Volt where they make some interesting comparisons to the BMW 3 series.

On the other side of the Atlantic, Mercedes Benz is clearly throwing down the gauntlet. By focusing on two fronts, all electric and fuel cells, Mercedes Benz is betting that there will be plenty of room for both technologies. Mercedes is planning a world tour of its F-Cell vehicle and unveiled, an all electric SLS AMG roadster. If only there were EV charging stations running the length of I-40 or I-80.

From economy to performance, auto manufacturers are clearly embracing the use of non-gas powered vehicles. Though, if you are still looking for a gas powered sports car, Ford has the upcoming Boss 302 and Cadillac has the CTS-V.

Ford Motor Company paid for my travel and accommodations at the 2-day Driving Green Technology event, I was not compensated in any other manner for my time. My opinions posted here are my own.

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