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LA Auto Show Features EVs, Hybrids, and Alternative Fuel Vehicles
Honda's Fit EV Concept gives a strong indication of its upcoming production Fit EV.
This year's Los Angeles Auto Show, which runs November 19 to 28, has more than 50 new electric, hybrid, and alternative fuel vehicles on display. The event, with some 900 vehicles overall, showcases at least a dozen electric vehicles (EVs) and concepts, but the brightest spotlight is on the Nissan LEAF and General Motors Corporation's (GM) Chevrolet Volt EVs, mass-produced cars expected to arrive in U.S. showrooms in December. See the full LA Auto Show fact sheet and the auto show Web site.
The Volt got a jolt of fame ahead of the show when it was named 2011 Motor Trend Car of the Year on November 16 by the publication. The Volt has 340-mile range, using electricity stored in its 16-kilowatt-hour (kWh) lithium-ion battery to power it for the first 25-50 miles and one tank of gasoline to extend its mobility for the remaining 300 miles. The car will be available first in California, Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Texas, and the Washington D.C. area. And while Nissan presented three world debuts of new vehicles in Los Angeles, it highlighted the LEAF, which reached its target of 20,000 reservations for purchase in September. The LEAF, too, got a boost when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded the car a best-in-class fuel-economy label for the equivalent of 99 miles per gallon of gasoline (MPGe), combining city and highway mileage. This calculation is based on the EPA’s formula of 33.7kW-hrs being equivalent to one gallon gasoline energy. The vehicle, designed to travel 100 miles on an average battery charge using a 24-kWh lithium-ion battery, will be available in December in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, and Tennessee. In January 2011, sales will begin in Texas and Hawaii, with nationwide sales continuing later in 2011. See the GM press release, the Volt Web site, the Nissan press release, and the LEAF Web site.
Also at the show, Honda unveiled its all-new Fit EV Concept electric vehicle along with its platform for a midsize plug-in hybrid vehicle. The company said that the Fit EV Concept gives a strong indication of its upcoming production Fit EV, which will be introduced to the U.S. and Japan in 2012. Also, the new plug-in hybrid platform showcased Honda's next-generation, two-motor hybrid technology, which is set to debut in 2012. And for dreamers, Jaguar's range-extended electric concept, the C-X75, made its North American debut. The EV, which the manufacturer said can hit 205 mph, runs in electric mode for 68 miles on a six-hour domestic plug-in charge for its lithium-ion batteries. Lightweight micro gas-turbines then recharge the car's batteries, giving the C-X75 a theoretical range of 560 miles. And Toyota debuted the second-generation Toyota RAV4 EV, aiming to bring a fully-engineered vehicle to market in 2012. Tesla built its battery and some of the drivetrain elements for the successor to the first RAV4 EV, which ceased production in 2003. See press releases from Honda, Jaguar, and Toyota.