The New York International Auto show often showcases the newest car technology. This year, more than ever, manufacturers at the annual show are moving toward hybrid and electric vehicles, and just about every company is getting on the “green” road.
One of the most notable: General Motors, which this year is touting its first all-electric vehicle in decades — a car designed for the everyday family, the Bolt.
“[The Bolt] really has done something that had befuddled everyone,” said Steven Majoros, marketing director at Chevrolet. He referred to the Bolt’s versatility and 200-mile range while retaining a fun-to-drive personality. “We are able to offer it [for] around $30,000 after federal tax incentives,” Majoros added.
GM has been re-entering the hybrid and EV markets slowly since 2010 when it launched the first version of its similarly-named-but-not-totally-electric Volt. GM is one of several automakers making more “green” moves.
Hyundai has gone all in, challenging the marketplace with its first major range of “green” cars, dubbed “Ioniq.” The South Korean manufacturer is launching hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and full-electric versions all in the same body (an obvious challenge to Toyota’s line of Prius models). Hyundai has built mild hybrids before (most notably the Sonata hybrid), but this is its first foray into an entirely green range.
Hedging its bets, Hyundai hopes the new line will appeal to more mainstream car buyers. “It’s of course got everything you’ve come to expect from a modern car too,” said Derek Joyce, a public relations manager for Hyundai. “It’s going to be very useful to a large variety of people,” he said, referring to the multiple version of the Ioniq.
But these developments don’t go unnoticed, of course. Toyota, a name associated with “green” vehicles for years, also just unveiled the newest in the venerated Prius line: The plug-in Prius Prime, which will have an all-electric range of 22 miles and a projected average 58 mpg for nonelectric use. It joins Toyota’s other established Prius models, which have dominated the market for more than a decade.
“We obviously expect great things,” said John Stemberg, a product specialist for Toyota.
Other manufacturers are attempting to catch up, but Toyota seems confident it will continue to lead green market sales.
“We have more hybrids than everyone else combined,” Stemberg said. “We’re very proud to say that.”