Green Is In at the 2013 Dallas Auto Show
The 2013 DFW Auto Show in Dallas may be months away, but anticipation is already growing in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Dozens of automakers including BMW, Ford, Audi, Scion and Jeep have announced their participation in the event, and DFW Metropolitan New Car Dealers Association has opened the Dallas Convention Center showroom to eco-friendly businesses looking to sell their products or services. For as little as $200, sustainability-conscious businesses can promote their “green” initiatives in a dedicated booth.
Automakers’ recent releases have added a “green” tint to the market, and fuel economy could be the defining element of the 2013 Dallas Auto Show. Toyota’s Prius, a hybrid available at Dallas Toyota dealerships, has inspired the next wave of fuel-efficient technology. Clean diesel technology, all-electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cells could all be on display in Dallas from March 13-17, 2013.
Electricity may get the bulk of the attention in fuel-economy innovation, but one German automaker has been expanding gas mileage with clean diesel technology for years. Volkswagen’s latest TDI Clean Diesel technology improves engine efficiency to achieve up to 43 miles per gallon, according to VW.com. The Green Car Journal named the 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI “Green Car of the Year,” and VW has only improved its technology since then.
Audi’s A3 TDI is VW’s closest competitor in terms of clean diesel gas mileage, achieving an estimated 35 combined MPG, and fuel-economy seekers looking for a little more luxury may be drawn to this hatchback sedan.
Hybrid cars dominate the eco-friendly vehicle landscape right now, but major automakers are pushing toward all-electric solutions to day-to-day transportation needs. The Nissan Leaf is the highest-selling all-electric car so far in 2012, selling 4,228 vehicles through August, according to Yahoo. While Nissan promoted the Leaf as having a 100-mile range, drivers and critics claim its top end range is closer to 70 miles.
The Ford Focus is the Leaf’s most direct competitor. An all-electric vehicle with similar range and features, Focus may hope that American-made sentiments will drive domestic sales.
The Chevy Volt is technically a hybrid, but after a full charge, Volt runs on pure electricity for up to 35 miles before switching over to conventional gas power. Most consumers will be able to get through most or all of their daily commutes on 35 electric miles, but Volt has the versatility for long commutes and road trips.
Hydrogen Fuel Cells
Electric motors slash vehicles’ carbon footprints, but the charging infrastructure necessary to support wide popularity seems far off. In response, major automakers are toying with fuel-cell technology, which runs on hydrogen, to power electric motors. Nissan rolled out its hydrogen fuel-cell powered Terra SUV concept at the Paris Motor Show, and the Japanese automaker claims it is prepared to mass-produce fuel-cell vehicles “whenever hydrogen becomes widely available,” according to USA Today.
Mercedes Benz currently has a preliminary fleet of 40 fuel-cell vehicles on the road in the US, and Toyota and Honda both have plans to launch fuel-cell vehicles by 2015, as reported by USA Today.
Automakers haven’t released their lineups for the 2013 Dallas Auto Show, but if the buzz is any indication, we could count on a few of these innovative fuel-economy vehicles in March.
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About the Author
Matt Johnson comes from a long line of automotive enthusiasts. Growing up in the Detroit area, he lived in a house divided—Mom worked for Chrysler, and Dad was in operations for GM.