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Detroit’s auto show emphasizes green

Jeremy Hobson Jan 14, 2008


Scott Jagow: Last week was all about gadgets, with the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas. This week, it’s cars. Big auto show got rolling this morning in Detroit. And can you guess what this year’s theme might be? Here’s a hint: Today, Ford unveils a car made out of old soda bottles and airline seats. And that’s just the beginning. Here’s Jeremy Hobson.

Jeremy Hobson: Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the greenest of them all?

Land Rover’s got a diesel-electric hybrid SUV it says will get 50 miles per gallon. Toyota announced plans for a plug-in hybrid. And GM’s Chairman Rick Wagoner showed off an eco-friendly Hummer, and said this:

Rick Wagoner: Just to be perfectly clear, GM will continue to drive the development of electrically-driven vehicles with all the speed that we can muster.

Jim Kliesch, senior vehicles analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists, says all the flashy technology is nice to see, but some of these concepts may never make it to the road.

Jim Kliesch: It could be 20 years for some of the technology, but a number of the automakers are showing some of the nearer-term technology that’s going to be on the roads in the not too distant future.

The industry’s new green thumb is no doubt helped by gas prices averaging more than 3 bucks a gallon. And the recently-passed energy bill, which mandates an average of 35 miles per gallon by 2020.

I’m Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

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