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Detroit Auto Show Adding “Electric Avenue”

Will feature nearly two dozen battery cars.

by on Nov.12, 2009

A variety of battery vehicles, possibly including the Audi e-Tron, will make an appearance on Electric Avenue, a new feature at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show.

A variety of battery vehicles, such as Audi's e-Tron, will appear on Electric Avenue, a new feature at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show.

The North American International Auto Show is getting charged up about electric vehicles.  The 2010 event, which opens to the public on January 16th, will feature a special, dedicated display of battery-powered vehicles, dubbed “Electric Avenue.”

“Electrification” has become one of the industry’s latest buzzwords, and battery cars have filled the floors at several recent auto shows, notably including September’s big event in Frankfurt, Germany, where the technology was shown on everything from minicars, like the Volkswagen e-Up, to high-powered sports cars, such as the Audi eTron.

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One recent industry study reported that as many as 40 or more battery-based vehicles – including hybrids, plug-ins and pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs – will debut in North America over the next three years.

Manufacturers will still have a chance to preview their newest vehicles at their own stands, during the 2010 NAIAS, but the sponsors of the 2010 Detroit Auto Show also wanted a concentrated space to “educate a diverse audience” about the coming technology, said Detroit dealer and the upcoming show’s chairman Doug Fox.

Sponsored by chemical giant and auto supplier Dow Chemical, the 27,000 square foot Electric Avenue is also planned to show off the various technologies and materials that will be needed to enable the use of battery power.

Even the most advanced lithium-ion batteries can only store about 1% of the power, by weight, found in gasoline, noted General Motors’ product development chief, Tom Stephens.  So, it is critical to find ways to get a lot more mileage out of any given amount of power.  That means lighter weight bodies and chassis, low-rolling resistance tires and improved vehicle aerodynamics, for starters.

The 2010 Detroit show will also revive the EcoXperience, which debuted at Detroit’s Cobo Hall last January.  It featured a quarter-mile track where visitors to the show could actually get behind the wheel of a variety of advanced powertrain vehicles.

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3 Responses to “Detroit Auto Show Adding “Electric Avenue””

  1. Larry Nutson says:

    Electric Avenue is a nice, upbeat reggae tune to get everyone moving. Now add in the Electric Ladyland fashion show……

  2. Bill says:

    Didn’t Montgomery Ward have an appliance department called “Electric Avenue?”

  3. tdb says:

    Bill, yes, in fact they did. Completely forgot about that connection.
    Paul A. Eisenstein