Volkswagen E-Bugster

A concept vehicle from Volkswagen, the E-Bugster is exactly what it sounds like: an electric version of the Beetle. The vehicle can go over 100 miles on a charge, and can use a quick-charger to juice up to 80% in 30 minutes. No word on if this one will ever be released.

Lexus LF-LC 2+2 Hybrid Sport Coupe

This hybrid is pure eye candy--or, as Lexus calls it, "a design study." Lexus won’t say much about the powertrain except that it’s front engine, rear-wheel drive, and comes with the Advanced Lexus Hybrid Drive system. Note: this is a traditional hybrid, not a plug-in.

Smart For-Us

Look, it’s a Smart-sized pickup truck! Seriously, this is Smart’s stab at designing a mini electric pickup truck, with enough space in the cargo bed to fit two Smart e-bikes (the brand’s hybrid electric bicycle). No word on range, but the vehicle has a 75-horsepower electric motor and can go from 0 to 60 mph in five seconds. Smart has no plans to commercialize the car.

Ford Fusion Energi

Finally, a car that’s going into production. The 2013 plug-in hybrid Ford Fusion Energi can reach 100 mph on pure electric power. Ford is remaining mum on motor and battery pack details, but the vehicle is expected to cost over $30,000 when it’s released.

Volvo XC60 Plug-In Hybrid

Another concept vehicle, the XC60 plug-in hybrid has a 35 mile range running on pure electric power, a charge time of 3.5 hours with a 220V outlet, and an estimated fuel economy of 105 mpg. Volvo writes in a press release. Unlike many plug-ins, which require special wiring, the XC60 can be plugged into a standard wall outlet, decreasing a big barrier to entry to EVs. Volvo hasn’t revealed a release date, but chances are that the XC60 (or something like it) will be rolled out in the next few years.

Nissan e-NV200

This admittedly ugly vehicle is based on the gasoline-powered NV200, which was chosen as New York City’s "Taxi of Tomorrow"--meaning it will slowly replace the current fleet of Crown Victoria taxis. The van gets 47 to 105 mpg depending on type of use, and it has plenty of room, with two foldable rows of seats. Nissan hasn’t revealed a release date, but it’s not a stretch to imagine that this electric vehicle could one day find widespread use in NYC’s taxi fleet.

Toyota Prius C

It’s not a plug-in, but the $19,000 Prius C does, according to Toyota, have the "highest rated city fuel economy of any vehicle without a plug," with a rating of 53 mpg for city driving and 46 mpg on the highway. The subcompact vehicle (the "C" in the name stands for "city") will be released this year.


The Next Generation Of Hybrids And EVs—From Performance Vehicles To Tiny Pickups

Few of the cars debuted at this year’s North American International Auto Show will ever be seen on the street, but the innovative technology in them will be appearing in cutting edge hybrids and EVs in the near future. Here’s a look at what the future holds for clean cars.

If you’re a car buff (or even a casual observer of the auto industry), you’ve probably heard all about the Tesla Model S, Nissan Leaf, and Chevy Volt—a sampling of today’s small crop of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles. But what’s next? Will we finally get the electric pod cars we’ve all been waiting for? The annual North American International Auto Show, happening this week, always offers a hint at what’s coming down the line. In the slideshow above, we take a look at some of the cars that automakers hope you’ll be excited about.


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