Are “green” automakers missing the mark at the LA Auto Show?

LA Auto ShowThis year’s Los Angeles Auto Show is being called the “green” auto show, by many. With increasing attendance and a growing interest in various new vehicles billed as environmentally friendly, this annual event is poised to become the leading auto show for displaying new technologies that can reduce or end our nation’s dependence on oil.

Growing numbers of consumers dismayed with rapidly rising gas prices have caused automaker’s to choose this year’s show as the venue to unveil new fuel-sipping and electric cars, such as the three-cylinder Ford Fiesta, BMW’s plug-in hybrid i3 and Chevrolet’s fast-charging Spark EV.

However, new models that embrace replacement fuels which may be better suited to unseat oil as our main source for transportation fuel are noticeably lacking. No automaker is showcasing any new models that can run on cleaner-burning ethanol from the increasing number of ethanol stations across the country. And while natural gas is quickly becoming an abundant and cheap source of domestic energy, the auto show fails to highlight natural gas powered vehicles or any vehicles that can run on methanol- natural gas’ derivative.

While electric-vehicle technology is promising, we appear to be decades away from EVs being able to completely replace traditional internal-combustion-engine vehicles throughout the nation’s entire fleet. This begs the question: Is focusing almost exclusively on electric vehicles a distraction from more immediate and available options (ethanol, methanol and natural gas) to end high gas prices?

Please let us know what you think in the comments section below!