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USA: AltCar Expo, the game changers

AltCar Expo is still the place to go if you want to see the movers and shaklers of the automobile industry. Here is a quick look at what there is to see and the test driving you can experience.

CODA. CODA has done some impressive work on this electric vehicle, EV. While the aesthetics might not turn too many heads, the engineering should. The car looks much better than it did at first but the real pleasure is in the driving and what lies beneath the hood. Their battery and component management system is where the company shines. The active thermal management even goes as far as detecting humidity levels. The company is looking forward to doing more than building cars, but also selling it’s technology. It’s the perfect fit for those shy auto makers who didn’t jump on the EV bandwaggon and want to lease an electric drivertain.

The drive was good with frank accelerations. The handling was also very good, predictable from an EV whose center of gravity is usually lower than a gas car.


Mitsubishi. The iMiEV is no longer, long live the I (i). The iMiEV surprised me the most in the driving and technologically. Making the best use out of a teeny tiny 16 kWh pack, every single electron is put to good use and this car can achieve well over 100 miles in a single charge, all of this for around $22,000. The drive was particularly surprising with zesty accelerations and a neat system that lets you choose how much regenerative braking you can get from eco, to boost. The car handled very well and was surprisingly roomy. It’s an overall well engineered car.

Trexa. Trexa was most likley the most intriguing candidate at the show. A tubular central chassis housing a battery pack ranging from 7 kWh to 90 promising serious performance. With double A-arms finely molded aluminum and two electric motors on either end, you only need to choose what body goes over it. Another company to watch out for.

Ford. Ford showed its electric Transit car as well as the Hybrid Fusion. I test drove both last year and found them to be serious contenders.

Nissan. Nissan had an imposing display for its Leaf showing the entire infrastructure. You don’t just buy an electric car when you buy a Leaf, you buy a complete experience. Click here for the previous test drive.

GM. GM showed it’s Volt. The Volt is a nicely engineered plug-in hybrid which would make the perfect garage buddy for any electric car. Click here for the previous test drive.


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