Intended for a Go-green kind of supporter, there were many surprises at the NAIAS (North American International Auto Show) of 2017 edition. We have been seeing the focus on green or eco-friendly cars decline for numerous years. Some of that is in the mainstreaming of more efficient vehicles, with an increase of fuel efficiency criteria, greater numbers of cross types vehicles, and alternative energy sources. But nothing provided home to how far things have come that much as this year’s show.
Where in the previous year the display of Green cars had been shown in a special highlight, this year it featured as mainstream ones. Those awards, along with Motor Trend Car of the year are acquired by Chevrolet Bolt. And there are many companies with multiple electric drive vehicles. Ford, Toyota, BMW and GMC each have a variety of solutions. Some are all electric drive. Some are gas or electric hybrids. Many are smaller, shorter range commuter automobiles, while others are easily capable of long range trips. It is no longer the case that, if you wish an electric drive vehicle, your selection is limited to one model that a company offers. There are choices, and not simply between this company or the particular one, but a variety within a company. The car Fiat Chrysler, which has been ignored entirely last year of the show, it has a hybrid Pacifica minivan that provides an 83 MPG-e rating.
At this point, it seems that the automotive manufacturers don’t feel a solid need to keep pushing the market to accept electric vehicles or to get them to understand the benefits. That has been established with consumers, and it is now a matter of actually finding the right vehicles to meet the demand that they have fostered. Precisely what is exciting for us as supporter of Go-Green is that the pursuit of transformative technology continues. The subordinate level of the show has been an impulsive tangential the main show. In few years it has been more or less like to be a ghost town. In others, it includes offered a driving track with sometimes many different vehicles available to test drive. This kind of year, the reduced level was packed with lots of different booths ranging from second-tier manufacturers, two different folding electric scooters, autonomous vehicle solutions, university racing and design programs, and a row packed with developers of automotive and transportation related programs.
As is the case in prior years, hydrogen-fueled vehicles found our eye as the next wave to watch in the transformation of the market. The chuckle about hydrogen fueled vehicles has long been that “Hydrogen powered vehicles are always 20 years down the road.” But now, after a few years, those 20 years are needs to feel like it might be moving a little bit closer. Where electric vehicles were a 10 years ago, hydrogen vehicles are today. They are something that some companies are dedicating some of their floor space to presenting. Honda and Toyota both have presented hydrogen vehicles viewed, and are selling hydrogen vehicles to consumers. In addition, GM, in combination with the US Armed Force, has a fuel powered by Cell, Colorado variant on display on the lower level as an investigational next-generation HMMV substitute which is slated for field trials later this approaching year.