Sunday, April 11, 2010

The 2010 Chicago Auto Show Revs Up the Green

by Eli Chen

To some, cars all about the speed, the style, the roar of the engines, and the way one feels cruising inside of their dream vehicle—to us environmentalists, it’s about the mileage, the carbon emissions, and the alternative fuels. The 2010 Annual Chicago Auto Show lit up McCormick Place with the latest masterpieces of the worldwide auto industry. As the transportation sector becomes more notorious for being a top contributor of greenhouse gas pollution, car companies are flaunting their green, from Audi’s clean diesel vehicles to Hyundai’s electric Blue Will. Toyota’s massive art panels involved wind turbines, and their improvement on the Prius, the FT-CH concept car, was placed on a revolving platform. Honda also went all out with their eco-friendly cars by not only displaying sporty hybrid cars like the CR-Z, but also the hydrogen fuel cell-powered FCX Clarity. Lexus also presents us with the HS which demonstrates the fuel efficiency of 34 mpg and has a bioplastic interior. But the Asian companies aren’t the only ones reveling in their eco-tech glory: the Best Green Car of the show turned out to be the electric Chevrolet Volt. Chevrolet, most noticeably among the American makes, displayed a varied effort to promote fuel-efficiency, through making electric cars like the Volt and “FlexFuel,” or ethanol 85-compatible, vehicles like the Silverado. Though not every car make had the environment on its agenda—for instance, the flashy Viper’s and Ferrari’s—the push for alternative fuels is hard to ignore with this year’s show. The clear initiative for greener ways to drive shows a lot of promise down the road.

Photos from the Chicago Auto Show