EVs go mainstream at the NY Auto Show.
The New York Auto Show opened this week and electric vehicles were on display in full force. There's no less than 30 BEVs and plug-in hybrids on display at the show, most of which are available for purchase today.
That's a stark difference from years past when the vast majority of EVs at the show were future concepts, many of which were destined for exclusive distribution in California, and never actually made it to showrooms in the New York area.
Now, with the addition of EVs like the Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia Niro EV & Soul EV and Nissan LEAF e-Plus joining the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3, consumers in the New York area have no less than six EV choices that have 200+ miles of range, and cost less than $40,000.
Gallery: NY Auto Show Images
One of the things that really stood out to me is how the EVs on display were just mixed in with the other cars this year. There wasn't really any special marketing around them, and they didn't have flashy stickers or graphics that screamed "I'm electric, look at me". They were just normal cars amongst the other normal cars. Perfect. EVs are becoming normalized.
One of the things the show did that was cool is they had a large display that showed where every EV at the show was located. This was very helpful, and I'm sure visitors looking to check out the EVs appreciated it. Auto shows are held in very large spaces, and with the crowds it can be difficult to find your way around sometimes. I saw quite a few people taking pictures of the map when they walked in, so they would have it with them when they were walking around the show floor.
As for the show itself, Rivian was the main attraction for electric vehicles, no surprise there. It was the first time the upstart electric automaker had their vehicles on display in the New York area, so they generated quite a lot of interest. At their display area, Rivian cleverly made benches to demonstrate the size of the storage tunnel the R1T pick up truck has behind the rear seating area.
I noticed the Kia Niro EV also had a good amount of interest, and Kia representatives pointed out that Niro EVs have already landed at US ports, and will be arriving at dealers in the 10 CARB ZEV states where they'll be sold, any day now.
As for the EV concepts, (what would an auto show be without some concepts, right?) there were three that garnered most of the attention. Volkswagen had the North American introduction of their I.D. Buggy concept, a modern electric take of a 60's-era dune buggy.
Built again from the MEB electric-vehicle chassis, the ID.BUGGY combines a 62-kWh battery pack with a 201-hp electric motor driving the rear wheels. On the road, the ID.BUGGY can reach 62 mph from rest in 7.2 seconds and travel up to an estimated 155 miles. But it’s off-road where the ID.BUGGY’s really designed to shine. - Volkswagen
And with that, the New York Auto Show is a wrap for 2019.