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As auto shows return, a chance to kick some EV tires
New York City's car fest to feature a whole floor of electric vehicles.
(A native of England, Matthew Diebel is a veteran journalist who has worked at NBC News, Time, USA Today and News Corp., among other organizations. Having spent his childhood next to one of the world's fastest bodies of water, he is particularly interested in tidal energy.)
Ever been to an auto show? It’s dads and sons (with a few moms and daughters sprinkled in). And nerdy guys in anoraks taking notes and grabbing brochures. And muscle-car aficionados salivating over V8 engines they imagine rumbling in front of their homes.
OK, so they are stereotypes, but what are they going to think of the 2022 New York Auto Show, which kicks off on Friday in Manhattan? After all, it’s been three years since the last big motor bash in the Big Apple, with the 2020 and 2021 exhibitions having been canceled by Covid.
And instead of only finding a sprinkling of electric vehicles in 2019, EVs are taking front and center, with an entire floor — complete with a test track! — being devoted to battery-powered autos.
Of course, with only about and with just 4% of U.S. new-car sales being all-electric (and EVs making up less than 1% of vehicles on American roads), many consumers will probably only have seen a Tesla (TSLA) or two, which make up about 70% of the American EV market. So, it’s a great opportunity for manufacturers to get their products in the faces of car enthusiasts who can actually kick a tire or two.
And that includes EVs of the future, including the Volkswagen (VWAGY) ID.Buzz, an electrified version of its iconic Microbus. Meanwhile, Stellantis (STLA) brand Chrysler will bring its all-electric Airflow Concept SUV to New York. And, of all things, two electric SUVs from VinFast (VIC), a Vietnam-based automaker that plans to produce EVs and batteries in North Carolina, according to Car and Driver.
Also highly anticipated will be all-electric pickup trucks from Ford (F) and General Motors (GM). The former’s F-150 Lightning, in particular, has attracted a lot of buzz, in part because the F-150 is the U.S.’s bestselling vehicle and also due to its ability to direct power from its batteries to power a home during a blackout. GM, meanwhile, will have two battery behemoths on its stands, the recently announced Chevy Silverado EV (on sale in 2023) and the already-released Hummer EV.
This scribe (and his 18-year-old Honda (HMC) CR-V will be there. However, his usual auto show sidekick — his son — is now away at college and will have to make do with some iPhone photos.