EVs Take the Stage at the New York International Auto Show

By:   Christian Okolski
Last Saturday was the official opening day of the 2014 New York International Auto Show at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan. The New York show runs until April 27th but is just one installment of a host of similar events that begins with the North American International Auto Show in Detroit and includes auto shows in other major U.S. cities such as Los Angeles and Chicago.  The New York event is a great way for locals and tourists alike to see what cars are available to buy, what concept designs are on the horizon, and what the overall American automotive landscape looks like.

Of course, a major topic surrounding the American auto market, is the emergence and proliferation of electric vehicles (EVs).  Those who attend the show will have the opportunity to become well-informed about what EVs are available to consumers and see them up close, both inside and out.   One of the best parts of the New York Auto Show is that attendees are able to walk up to the cars, touch them, sit inside them, look under their hoods, and really get to know them.  In fact, the EV Pavilion in the show’s lower level invites attendees to go for low-speed EV rides, and experience how the vehicles quietly operate.

While one of the most publicized and critically acclaimed EV makers, Tesla Motors, will not be presenting at the show, visitors are guaranteed to feast their eyes on a plethora of models.  Some of the first mass-market EVs such as the Chevy Volt, Nissan LEAF, Mitsubishi I-MiEV, or Smart Electric Drive will be available to check out and sit in.  However, newer models like the Cadillac ELR, and BMW i3 will also be on display.  In fact, the BMW i3 is a must see after winning the “World Green Car” and “Design of the Year” awards at the New York Auto Show.

EVs to be released in the future are also sure to have a strong presence, and  BMW, for example, is displaying a plug-in hybrid concept version of its X5 sport utility vehicle.  Some other notable “up-and-comers” that are teasing EV enthusiasts in New York include the Mercedes-Benz B Class Electric Drive and the Volvo V60 plug-in hybrid diesel.  In addition, a retro, all-electric car that looks like it was designed in the 1920s is on display as a proposed alternative to using horse-pulled carriages in Central Park.  In fact, Green Car Reports has a great write-up on how New York City’s Mayor Bill DeBlasio is making a push to replace all horse-pulled carriages with this head-turning electric car.

Overall, New York Auto Show attendees are sure to see, sit in, and learn about a whole host of production and concept EVs, an experience that is not only fun, but incredibly educational.  Those interested in attending the show can purchase tickets online or on-location at the Javits Center box office.  Adult tickets cost $15 per person, but there are special, discount rates available for children and large groups.  If you do go to the show, the main entrance to the Jacob Javits Center is located on the West side of where 40th Street meets 11th Avenue, and most importantly, be sure to enjoy!

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