Electric vehicles (EVs) were the toast of American car engineering, as the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, kicked off this week with a stunning display of new EVsand hybrids. According to various news sources, including regional outlets Midwest Energy News and Detroit’s WLNS, there were a variety of autos featuring the latest in energy efficiency and eco-friendly technology.
General Motors, which in recent months has suffered bad press due to battery issues in its Chevy Volt line of cars, had a number of interesting displays that included a pick-up truck equipped with a rechargeable electric engine,a collaboration with VIA Motors. The latter company is becoming an increasingly bigger name in the EV market.
Japanese auto manufacturer Nissan scored a victory during the event, as its Resonance crossover concept car received the Best Concept Vehicle award. This unique design features a hybrid drive train with a novel “two-clutch” system that allows for great fuel economy and more efficient engine management, according to a press release from the company.
Officials from some of the biggest American car makers told reporters during the event that the next generation of cars had to embrace the idea of energy efficiency in order to succeed in a diverse, global marketplace. Additionally, efforts from the U.S. government to spur greater gas economy – including highway miles-per-gallon mandates – helped push those initiatives from the drawing board to the showroom.
Yet some industry experts acknowledged that there are certain challenges restricting the green car market from expanding more quickly.
“I think what’s clear is the market’s real,” Lauren Flanagan, the head of an auto manufacturing investment group, told WLNS in an interview “It’s still an emerging market. It’s not big. It’s not going to be mainstream for some time until the cost of battery technology comes down and range is greater. The cost and the range anxiety are probably the two big obstacles to widespread adoption.”
With some of the biggest names in the automobile sector making pushes for more eco-friendly vehicles, those considering buying a new car might want to check out some of 2013’s upcoming models.