Leaner, Greener Detroit Rolls Out Small Cars, Hybrids

In this new era, everything is smaller – the companies, the market, the vehicles and the Detroit auto show itself.

Published: 12-Jan-2010

There's something missing from the North American International Auto Show this year: good old-fashioned American horsepower.

The watchwords are “small” and “electric” at the first Detroit auto show since two Motown giants collapsed into bankruptcy protection and had to be rescued with a bailout from U.S. and Canadian taxpayers that amounted to more than $75-billion (U.S.).

“It is a new era,” says David Cole, chairman of the Center for Automotive Research, an industry think-tank in Ann Arbor, Mich.


Toyota Prius with solar panels on roof that provide 165 watts of power per hour, not enough to propel the car more than a couple miles.

Solar Electric Vehicles sells its version of a plug-in Prius, with a solar panel installed, for $25,000.

Solar Millennium's AnderSol-2 solar thermal project in Egypt.

Retrofitting existing power plants is a low-cost option for solar-thermal projects because the steam turbines that are needed come for free.

Professor David Banister

Travel growth in a car-dependent society must be confronted so that people travel less, not more, writes Oxford Professor of Transportation Studies at Oxford University, David Banister.


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