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Electric and hybrid cars light up Los Angeles Auto Show

Latest electric and hybrid cars at 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show
Latest electric and hybrid cars at 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show
Matthew Emmer

November 20, 2013 was Press Day at the Los Angeles Auto Show, and many hot hybrid and electric vehicles were on hand to satisfy the American market. Here is a rundown, including accompanying slide show, of some of this year’s alternative powered offerings. Scroll over each photo for i.d. caption:

Subaru enters the hybrid market with its XV Crosstrek
Subaru enters the hybrid market with its XV Crosstrek
Matthew Emmer

Audi unveiled a new line of A3 entry level models, including the 2015 e-tron plug-in hybrid. According to an Audi spokesman, the United States is the world’s biggest market for electric vehicles.

Acura showed off its SH (Sport Hybrid) RLX sedan, and the smaller ILX hybrid sedan.

BMW featured its futuristic i3 electric and i8 plug-in hybrid cars. BMW also sells “active hybrid” versions of its 3, 5 and 7 series cars, as well as several diesel models, such as the 535d and 328d.

Buick includes hybrid technology, called “E Assist,” standard in its Regal and LaCrosse sedans. This type of hybrid power kicks in essentially when the car is stopped or slowing, as opposed to when it is being powered forward.

Cadillac introduced the ELR extended range coupe, which uses the same power plant as General Motors’ Chevrolet Volt, but at a premium price. At the same time, Cadillac has discontinued its Escalade hybrid.

Chevrolet sells the Volt “extended range electric” vehicle, as well as the smaller Spark all-electric car.

Ford takes a varied approach, with its C-Max Energi and C-Max Hybrid, as well as the Fusion Hybrid.

Honda offers an array of alternative technology vehicles, such as the Fit EV (electric vehicle), the Accord Hybrid (winner of the show's Green Car of the Year award) and the CR-Z hybrid.

Hyundai showed off a new Tucson Fuel Cell (hydrogen powered) SUV, and also sells a Sonata hybrid model.

Infiniti offers several hybrid vehicles, including the Q50 and Q70 sedans, and the QX60 SUV.

Lexus sells hybrid models of its RX, ES, LS and GS series, as well as the dedicated CT hybrid vehicle.

Mercedes highlighted its new B Class Electric Drive model.

Nissan continues to sell its all-electric LEAF. Joining the Nissan lineup for 2014 is the Pathfinder Hybrid SUV.

Smart sells electric version of its little 2-seater, which promises to zip around at a fraction of the cost of filling up a typical car with gasoline.

Subaru finally entered the hybrid market, with its XV Crosstrek. The Forester-based XV distinguishes itself with its high clearance and off-road capabilities.

Toyota continues to lead the auto industry with the most hybrid vehicle offerings, including the Prius in traditional or plug-in hybrid, and the Camry, Avalon and Highlander.

Volkswagen unveiled its new eGolf electric car. VW also offers two hybrid vehicles and seven TDI “clean diesel” models.

Cars and Politics

The U.S. government and some state governments play a part in the sale of many of these vehicles. For example, the federal government offers a hefty $ 7,500 tax credit on electric vehicles, and some states offer additional tax credits of up to $ 6,000. Needless to say, this makes auto executives happy, and many American drivers of these vehicles likewise enjoy waving as they drive by their local gas stations without having to fill up.

© 2013 Matthew Emmer -- All Rights Reserved

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