Many media reports are focusing on the growing attention that electric and hybrid cars and other vehicles running alternative fuel engines are garnering. There's been sustained hype about fuel efficient vehicles that eschew the wild gyrations of the gas price game, but 2010, experts agree, is the year that North America will really begin taking electric cars seriously. Why? It's because the major manufacturers are finally making cars that live up to the buzz.
A recent article on News-Press.com highlighted the many award winning alternative fuel vehicles that have been lauded with praise at auto shows. Notable vehicles include:
The Ford Fusion Hybrid
The Ford Fusion Hybrid was awarded the title of 2010 North American Car of the Year. The green sedan has a pricetag around $19,695 and boasts a 41 MPG, thanks to the EV mode that lets you drive up to 47 MPH without using a drop of gas. Ford also announced that it will bring hybrid transmission operations and battery pack production in-house.
The Chevy Volt is winning many awards and even more hearts and minds. The Volt is expected to sell for about $40,000 and will hit the market in limited supply this year. GM execs estimated that the 60,000 limited run of Volts would make these cars hard to come by for the average consumer, but lucky buyers will be able to enjoy this forward-looking car in the near future.
The Toyota Prius is the original hybrid, rolling into the game and dominating it about a decade ago. Toyota hasn't come up with a direct answer to the Chevy Volt, but rumors abound that they are gearing up a lithium battery car, which will be a full fledged plug-in vehicle.
While Toyota's electric car plans wait coyly in the wings, Nissan is the standout foreign automaker with an electric vehicle this year. The Nissan Leaf is a 100% electric car with 'zero emissions.' Nissan claims that you can go up to 100 miles per charge. Nissan continues riding the wave of the future by having a very Twitter-centric website, that lets you ask the creators about the Leaf.
In the shadow of these spotlight basking 'novelty' cars is a fleet of other hybrid versions of longtime industry staples. The Chevy Malibu, Chevy Silverado and Chevy Tahoe continue to sell very well - both with traditional engines and hybrid motors.
One thing is clear - momentum is building towards electric cars entering the mainstream. This is exciting for environmentalists and car enthusiasts alike.