Fifty-plus new electric vehicles debut at LA Auto Show

Heralding the historic arrival of the modern electric car era, mass-produced electric vehicles are on hand for customers to buy, as manufacturers are increasingly focused on high-mileage and low emission vehicles in an effort to provide viable solutions for cleaner transportation.

"After years of anticipation, electric vehicles are finally here," said Andy Fuzesi, LA Auto Show general manager. "It may take years for electric vehicles to be accepted broadly, but it’s undeniable that an electric era has officially begun."

Chevrolet’s range extended electric car Volt and Nissan’s lithium ion batteries electric Leaf, which are highly anticipated by the population, are the first two models to be featured at the annual event.

A dozen more electric cars will also be on display at the show. More than half are production vehicles that will be for sale in the coming year and others are forward looking concepts that will map out how electric transportation will progress in the future, the organizers said.

At least 20 manufacturers are showcasing a whole range of new green concepts and production vehicles with low-emission and high-mileage hallmarks.

Various auto makers are showing their latest technological achievement in hybrids, the largest volume of "green" cars at the show, among them are Toyota Prius, Honda Civic and Ford Fusion hybrids, and KIA plans unveil its first hybrid, the Optima sedan.

For the first time, the hallmark Green Car of the Year award nominees feature electric vehicles, in a bid to recognize significant environmental achievement in a production vehicle.

This years’ finalists include the 2011 Chevrolet Volt, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid and the 2011 Nissan LEAF. The winner will be made public at a press conference on Nov. 18.

In addition,the show will feature more than 50 world and North American debuts plus more than 900 of the latest vehicles ranging from sports cars and sedans to crossovers and mini-vans.

Media preview took place from Nov. 17-18. The show opens to public on Nov. 19.

Sanctioned by the Organization Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles, the inaugural Los Angeles auto show was held in 1907. Covering 347,000 square feet (32,200 square meters) exhibit space, the show has become one of four major international auto exhibitions in North America.