The LA Auto Show has always been known as an opportunity for automakers to show their latest concepts and feature vehicles for the coming year. So it should come as no surprise that this years show offered a strong lineup of soon-to-come alternative fuel vehicles. Here is a brief highlight of some cars that were on display.
As more automakers continue to enter the electric/hybrid vehicle market, competition has steadily increased for vehicle efficiency and appeal. The BMW i3 will be BMW’s first zero emissions mass-produced vehicle, which will sport an efficient electric powertrain. By using efficient design and clever innovations, such as carbon-fiber reinforced plastic, this plug-in hybrid sees low energy consumption with distant range. The i3 is on sale in Europe right now, and will launch in the U.S. next year. BMW will also be launching the i8 in 2014, a sport sedan built on a similar platform. In fact, you may have already seen an early rendering of this car while at the movies. Other notable plug-in hybrids at the show included the Cadillac ELR. A “first” for the brand, the ELR is based on the Chevrolet Volt with added Cadillac touches.
There were also some all-electric vehicles that were popular favorites at the show. Via Motors offer an all-electric truck and van platform, a first in the industry. Via already has begun work with corporate customers like AT&T and Verizon, who are looking for rigorous EV fleet vehicles. Volkswagen also demonstrated an all-electric Golf, which was an arguable favorite EV for the auto show. Ultimately however, the 2014 Honda Accord won the award of Green Car of the Year. “With its efficient internal combustion, hybrid and plug-in choices, the 2014 Honda Accord delivers exactly what consumers are looking for today,” said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal and Carsofchange.com. “It all comes together this year for the Accord in ways that speak to significant environmental performance built into a mainstream, volume model that’s a joy to drive.”
Not all of the LA Auto Show was about electric vehicles however. Hyndai introduced a hydrogen-powered Tucson, which is set to go on sale this spring. The price will be set at $499 a month for a three-year lease, but that includes the cost of fuel and maintenance. While hydrogen fueling infrastucture is still growing, California recently approved $2 billion of funding for the construction of hydrogen fueling stations.
Finally, Toyota made a splash with a Compressed Natural Gas hybrid Camry concept. Designed to run on both gasoline and CNG, drivers would have flexibility in their fueling choice.
Overall, the LA Auto Show was an opportunity to show advancements across all alternative fuels, with both fleets and individual owners in mind.
Matt Stephens-Rich, Program Assistant