The city that’s so defined by its car culture, traffic and massive freeways, is hosting a major auto show this week. The LA Auto Show, which is celebrating over a hundred years running, will be showing off the next-generation of all-electric, plug-in hybrid, and traditional hybrid cars, including some big debuts, like the unveiling of Toyota’s RAV-4, developed in conjunction with Tesla Motors. We’ll be at the show filming a whole grip of Green Overdrive shows, and reporting on the news. Here’s 10 green cars to watch for outta LA this week:
Toyota’s Electric RAV-4: Japanese giant Toyota plans to unveil its electric RAV-4 SUV, which will use Tesla’s powertrain technology, on Wednesday afternoon. Toyota has agreed to pay Tesla $60 million for the development effort and the plan is to get the car to the U.S. market by 2012. Tesla has been building up a powertrain OEM business, beyond its own production of electric vehicles, and the RAV-4 deal is some of the first much-needed revenue from third party automakers. Last week Tesla report earnings and continues to lose money on the road to launching its more affordable Model S electric sedan.
Honda EV Concept: Honda plans to unveil an electric concept car on Wednesday afternoon. Honda plans to live stream the unveiling (nice!), so if you want to see it for yourself, tune in here at 1:20 on Wednesday. I don’t know much else about what the concept will look like, but we’ll bring it to you from the front lines.
Volvo c30 Electric: While Volvo’s C30 electric won’t be making its debut at the LA Auto Show (its been shown in the prototype stage for awhile), Volvo’s first EV will be available to drive this week at the event. We’ll be taking it for a spin and will let you know how it feels — it’s got a 90 mile range, and charges in 8 hours. Volvo has been working with energy company Göteborg Energi on the deployment of charging infrastructure.
Nissan Ellure Plug-In: Nissan’s already got the first mainstream all-electric car on the market, the LEAF, but according to Autoblog Green, Nissan plans to debut a new plug-in at the LA show, and it will likely be the Ellure concept car. Nissan’s event takes place on Wednesday afternoon.
Wheego: The Wheego all-electric LiFe will make its official debut at the LA Auto Show, where the company is offering test drives. The LiFe is a tiny little 2-seater, that has a range of 100 miles (same as the LEAF) and will set you back $34,000 before tax credits.
Mitsubishi iMiEV U.S. Production Version: We’ve already test driven Mitsubishi’s little bean of a car, the electric iMiEV, the Japanese company is debuting its North American production version of the car at the LA Auto Show. The North American version will be longer and wider (we’re pretty big) than the Japanese and European versions and will also have different bumpers.
Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid: Porsche will have its hybrid sports car, the Cayenne S, at the LA Auto Show and will be giving test drives to journalists. The car, which costs $67,700, drives on electric below speeds of 37 mph, and the engine kicks in when the car tops that speed. It’s not the greenest thing out there, and Porsche doesn’t even give an estimate of its mpg on its website.
Mercedes B-Class F CELL: While all the big auto makers seem to be placing their bets on electric cars, Mercedes is the rare one that will be showing off a fuel cell car at the LA Auto Show. Mercedes is offering up its B-Class F CELL fuel cell car for test drives, and we’ll be sure to check it out. The car will be available to be leased to Californians in LA and San Francisco, reportedly for between $600 to $800 per month.
Audi’s Q5 Hybrid Quattro SUV: Audi last week released details of its first production hybrid car, the Q5 Hybrid Quattro SUV. According to CNET, the car promises the power of a V6 and the fuel consumption of a four-cylinder, delivering 33.6 mpg. Not great, but not so bad.
MINI E: BMW will be offering its MINI E for test drives at the show, and also will be sharing results of the trials it’s done with the MINI E. BMW is taking a similar strategy to many other car companies, by basically deploying the car in a very limited, experimental fashion, and then collecting data on the pilots before deciding on whether or not it will launch the car on a wider scale.
For more research on the intersection of green and IT check out GigaOM Pro (subscription required):
- Car Data As the Next Platform for Innovation
- The Real Reason Google Is Buying Wind Power
- Beyond the Battery: Building a Better Battery Business
Images courtesy of n.vasse,