Saturday, February 11, 2017

Electric vehicles power up Chicago Auto Show

Automakers are charged up about electric vehicles and hybrids at the Chicago Auto Show, where more plug-in EVs and car charging stations are on display than ever before.
BMW showed off its sporty i8 hybrid, parked at a charging station. Mini Cooper touted its Countryman Plug-In Hybrid, which is twin power turbo charged and electrically charged, with a total of 221 horsepower. Ford displayed its 2016 Ford Fusion Energi Plug-In Hybrid and charging options, including 240V Home Charger that can fully charged a car in under three hours.
Kia showed off its Niro hybrid crossover that has gotten 76.6 miles per gallon, and set a Guinness World Record by driving coast-to-coast with only 48.5 gallons of gasoline.

Officials at the auto show also unveiled a seven-state project called Midwest EVOLVE, or Electric Vehicle Opportunities: Learning, eVents, Experience, that aims to promote electric vehicles throughout the Midwest, including in Northwest Indiana.

South Shore Clean Cities, other Clean Cities initiatives and the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest have launched the three-year campaign. It will will bring electric cars to big workplaces and summer festivals across the region so people can test drive them.
"The Midwest is often overlooked as a market for electric vehicles," American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest CEO and President Lew Bartfield said."The goal of Midwest EVOLVE is to build awareness and visibility for the advantages of electric vehicles, and to help the Midwest rediscover the automobile again, this time with a plug... We want to get butts in seats."
Carl Lisek, South Shore Clean Cities executive director, said the group would bring electric vehicles and set up test-driving courses at events like Hammond's Festival of the Lakes. The group will highlight the growing availability of public charging stations, including along the Indiana Toll Road.
"There's no better way to learn about the performance and environmental advantages of EVs than personal experience," he said. "Through participating in major events throughout Northern Indiana, hosting ride and drives, and conducting seminars, we hope to make a major impact on improving air quality and saving fuel."

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