PHOTO CAPTION: 2010 Ford Focus likely to serve as platform for electric version in 2011 time frame.

Electric Avenue: Hybrids, EVs and Small Cars Take Spotlight at 2010 Detroit Auto Show

Much of the show's buzz is expected to come from electric-drive vehicles.

Published: 12-Jan-2010

DETROIT — Electric, hybrid and small cars will grab centre stage at the Detroit auto show this week, as the industry adapts to a world reshaped by the Great Recession and environmental worries.

The event will demonstrate just how automakers are responding to this new reality. Ford wants to build on its success in midsize sedans and re-ignite its small car sales, while Hyundai aims to extend last year's triumph in budget-conscious models. GM and Chrysler will start fresh with electric vehicles but also try to boost their small-car credibility. Toyota hopes to solidify its dominance in hybrids.

The new crop of models must be successful if automakers are to reverse last year's 21 per cent sales plunge. Mounting job losses, GM and Chrysler's bankruptcy filings and the death of several iconic brands sent sales skidding to their lowest level since 1982.


TREV two-place electric car

Student-built vehicle can do 0-60 in 10 seconds with top speed of 75 mph. Photo courtesy of University of South Australia.

Johnson Controls RE3 electric concept car interior.

RE3 electric concept car is designed to demonstrate use of different materials and flexible, novel ways of using space.

Magna International chief vehicle engineer Dick DeVogelaere with Project M electric car. Photo credit: EV World.Com.

Ford plans to make only 10,000 of the electric vehicles a year at first - very few by Detroit standards - to test the market cautiously. GM and Toyota are following a similar cautious approach.


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