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Fisker Logo on Sunset plug-in hybrid luxury sport convertible
Fisker's Q-Drive luxury plug-in hybrids will be available in four-door sport coupe and two-door hard-top convertible models, staring in late 2009.

Top 20-Plus Green Cars of the 2009 Detroit Auto Show

A photo essay of the best hydrogen, battery, extended-range and hybrid vehicles.

By EV World

Carmakers large and small are taking electric propulsion seriously. While challenges remain, progress is being made in bringing down costs and improving technology from conventional hybrids to a new crop of range-extended, plug-in models.

The following 21 green car models represent the spectrum of vehicles from affordable to pricey, from neighborhood electric vehicles to high performance sports car, from conventional hybrids to luxury plug-ins.

The cars can be grouped in three categories:

  • Production models soon to be on sale (Spring, 2009): Toyota Prius, Lexus 250h, Honda Insight, Ford Fusion/Mercury Milan Hybrids, Tesla, GEM.

  • Preproduction/demonstration models (2010+): Ford Focus EV, Fisker Karma/Sunset, Chevy Volt, Smart EV, BMW eMini, Saturn Plug-in, Kia FCEV, BYD E6

  • Concept models (no production announced): Chrysler 200C EV, Patriot EV, Circuit, Cadillac Converj, Toyota FT-EV, Mercedes E-Cell.

    General Motors had other hybrids on display that aren't featured here, including mild hybrids like the VUE and Malibu, and two-mode hybrids from a Sierra Hybrid pickup to its Cadillac Escalade Hybrid.

    Toyota also had its Camry Hybrid and the full-spectrum of hybrid Lexus models: LS 600L h, GS/RX 450h and RX 400h.

    How well the production vehicles sell next year depends on the state of the economy and buyer confidence, both at historically low ebbs. Similarly, the fate of preproduction programs depends on how well the manufacturers do financially in the coming years. Depressed sales will force programs to be postponed, modified or shelved. What the fate of concept programs is depends heavily on a combination of consumer interest, carmaker fortunes and a dash of black magic.

    Times Article Viewed: 7885
    Published: 17-Jan-2009

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