The 2011 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) was held inDetroit, the former auto-making capital of the world. Detroit is tryingto recapture some of its lost glory by showcasing a number of greenervehicles. The 2011 Detroit auto show ran from January 10 through January 23. In addition to hundreds of thousands of attendees, there were over5,500 media representatives at the show. Here are some of the greenhighlights.
Toyota Prius: Toyota has long been a leader in hybrid cars and the company is increasing its offering of greener cars. Toyota has expanded its line of dependable, reasonably priced Priushybrids including a plug-in version, a larger wagon and a sleek littlesports car known as the Prius C concept. The Prius gets approximately 50 MPG.
Lexus CT 200h Hybrid: This car has a1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with a powerful electric motor and anickel-metal hydride battery pack. According to Lexus, this sportyhybrid offers a dynamic driving experience and combined fuel efficiencyof 42 MPG+. The car can operate on battery-only power for short periodsand speeds up to 28mph.
Chevrolet Volt: This Volt was the 2010 car of the year, it can travel up to 50 miles on a single charge. It also has anefficient internal combustion engine that eliminates range anxiety.
Chevrolet Sonic subcompact: The Sonic will be available as a 2012 model in two different bodyconfigurations: a 4-door sedan and a 5-door hatch. It comes with theefficient Ecotec 1.4L turbo engine rated at an estimated 138 horsepower(103 kW). The Sonic is expected to get around 40 MPG on the highway andin the low to mid 30s in the city.
Ford Focus Electric: The all-electric version of the popular Ford Focus has a 100 milerange. The plug-in electric vehicle has higher speed charging, highlycustomizable displays, and liquid cooled/heated batteries. This fivedoor hatchback will be launched in 19 markets in late 2011.
VW Golf blue-e-motion: The Volkeswagen Golf blue-e-motion promises a range of 93 miles; the car can get from 0 to 62 mph in 11.8seconds. The car will be available to the public in 2013.
Mercedes A-Class E-CELL: The five-seater with battery-powered electric drive meets all therequirements for a family car. Mercedes claims it "has an outstandinglyassured and dynamic performer on the road, taking just 5.5 seconds toaccelerate from zero to 60 km/h." This car has an impressive 125 milerange from one charge and is available now in limited numbers.
Mercedes SLS AMG E-CELL: The new supercar features four electric motors, and has a killer kickof 526 hp and 649 lb-ft of torque and is capable of reaching zero to 62mph in just four seconds flat. This car employs four regenerativebraking options and will be available in 2013.
Richard Matthews is a consultant, eco-entrepreneur, sustainable investor and writer. He is the owner of THE GREEN MARKET, one of the Web’s most comprehensive resources on the business of the environment. He is also the author of numerous articles on sustainable positioning, green investing, enviro-politics and eco-economics.
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