Washington Auto Show Highlights Advanced Technology

February 2, 2011

A man attaches an electric cord to a new car.

Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford charges the Ford Focus Electric in New York City in January 2011.
Credit: Stuart Ramson/Ford

The 2011 Washington Auto Show is spotlighting new technology with its "Advanced Technology SuperHighway" exhibit. Show sponsors said there were more "green cars" at the Washington D.C. event than at any other top-tier U.S. auto show. The show, running through February 6, is focusing on electric vehicles (EV), as well as biofuel, hydrogen, and ethanol vehicle technologies. To highlight the green theme, Green Car Journal's "Green Car Vision Award" was given to the Ford Focus Electric vehicle. It was the first time since the journal launched in 1992 that all Vision Award finalists—Ford, Honda Fit EV, Mitsubishi i, Toyota RAV4 Electric, and Volvo C30 DrivE—featured electric drive systems. Ford has said its Focus Electric will reach consumers in late 2011.

The January 27 announcement of the debut of Chrysler's Ram truck plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) also grabbed green-tinted attention. The new PHEV is equipped with Electrovaya Inc.'s 12 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery and can travel up to 20 miles on electricity alone before switching to gas. Delivery of the PHEV Ram trucks is expected to begin this summer. See the Green Car Vision Award press release, the Electrovaya press releasePDF, and the Washington Auto Show website.