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  • 2010 North American International Auto Show

    Posted on January 12th, 2010 ninarussin

    Automakers charge up a new generation of electric cars

    By Nina Russin

    Volvo Electric C30

    Volvo Electric C30

    In its race to find renewable alternatives to gasoline, the auto industry is once again considering the electric car. Electric cars have been around almost as long as the internal combustion engine. Problems with battery technology and the lack of a recharging infrastructure prevented plug-in vehicles from migrating into the mainstream.

    Advances in nickel-metal hydride and lithium-ion battery technology provide two viable alternatives to lead-acid. Lead-acid batteries are heavy and space consuming. Because the electrolyte is fluid, they also present a safety risk.

    Manufacturers including Nissan and Mitsubishi are working with state and federal agencies to put recharging stations in public places. Nissan hopes to have a good start on its plug-in infrastructure when the Nissan Leaf rolls into dealerships the end of this year.

    This week’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit saw a new flock of plug-in concepts from Volvo, Audi, GM, Honda and Nissan. Volvo is using its compact C30 as the basis for a fifty-unit electric car test fleet that hits the streets in 2011.

    Power for the electric C30s comes from a lithium-ion battery pack. A 111-horsepower electric motor propels the C30 from zero-to-sixty in 10:5 seconds. Top speed is 81 miles-per-hour. The C30 can go up to 94 miles between charges.

    Audi e-tron

    Audi e-tron

    Audi e-tron

    Audi unveiled the first Audi e-tron at last year’s Frankfort Auto Show. The Detroit show car is a two-seater measuring just under four meters in length.

    Two electric motors power the lightweight car, from zero-to-sixty miles-per-hour in less than six seconds. Lithium-ion batteries provide the power. The battery pack is located behind the passenger compartment, ahead of the rear axle. Driving range is 155 miles.

    Nissan Mixim EV

    Nissan Mixim EV

    Nissan Mixim EV

    The Nissan Mixim design concept made its North American debut as part of the Michelin Challenge Design display. The Mixim has the same wheelbase as the production Cube crossover vehicle, but is 11 inches shorter, ten inches lower and four inches wider.

    Inside, the driver is flanked by a passenger on each side. An available fourth seat is located in the cargo area.

    Lithium-ion batteries provide the power for two electric motor/generators that drive the front and rear axles.

    Cadillac XTS Platinum concept

    Cadillac XTS Platinum Concept

    Cadillac XTS Platinum Concept

    As Chevrolet ramps up for production of its Volt extended-range plug-in hybrid, Cadillac unveiled a plug-in concept for its XTS luxury sedan. The platinum series is Cadillac’s premier grade, focusing on new luxury and technology features.

    A 3.6-liter direct injection V-6 engine paired with a plug-in hybrid powers the XTS concept. Power for the hybrid system comes from a lithium-ion battery pack, which recharges on a conventional home outlet.

    Inside, LED displays take the place of traditional gauges and screens, giving the car a futuristic look. The instrument panel appears black until the driver turns the car on and lights up the LEDs.

    Honda CR-Z Hybrid

    2011 Honda CR-Z

    2011 Honda CR-Z

    Honda’s CR-Z coupe made its North American debut in Detroit. Power comes from a 1.5-liter iVTEC engine and hybrid-electric system. The hybrid model rolls into US dealerships this summer.

    The two-passenger car introduces a new system that allows the driver to select between sport, economy and normal driving modes.

    The CR-Z will come in a base model and upscale EX grade. The EX adds high-intensity discharge headlamps, fog lights, an upgraded audio system with Bluetooth interface and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

    A six-speed manual transmission is standard: buyers can opt for a continuously-variable automatic transmission. The hybrid system produces 122 horsepower and 128 foot-pounds of torque, and will average about 37 miles-per-gallon.

    The North American International Auto Show takes place at the Cobo Hall convention center in downtown Detroit. The show runs through January 24.


    4 responses to “2010 North American International Auto Show”

    1. Pretty inetersting concept-cars! I think, it is the adoption of electric engines that will foster the revival of American car industry!!!

    2. the best show car that i know are those expensive Bentleys and Audis;”~

    3. Porsche 911 is the best show car that i know, it is pretty expensive too”;,

    4. show cars that sport a big engine is the thing that i like, i love those show cars with V8 or V12 engines *

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