By VICTOR E. SASSON
NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Any hope I had that the global auto industry is quickly developing electric vehicles to ease climate change and cut premature deaths from auto emissions was dashed on Wednesday at the New York International Auto Show.
As a Tesla owner and member of the International Motor Press Association, I skipped last year's two-day preview for auto writers and others.
But on Wednesday, I took mass transit to the show and walked through the exhibits at the Javits Center, looking for all-electric production models.
They were few and far between, as were the cocktail parties and lounges the industry once employed to capture the hearts, minds and stomachs of the auto writers who flock there every year, and write gushing articles about new models with antiquated gas engines.
As the owner of a Tesla Model S, I was disappointed none of the unveilings on Wednesday were specifically for a new all-electric vehicle that you can buy now.
Of course, Tesla doesn't advertise or take part in the New York show.
And Porsche didn't bother showing the Mission E, saying the all-electric performance sedan still is a prototype that won't go on sale until the end of next year.
As a retired newspaper reporter who once covered the industry, I was shocked to hear auto writers from around the world cheering and applauding loudly after Nissan unveiled a new Altima sedan with another dirty engine.
Surely, they weren't cheering the millions of premature deaths from air pollution, including the 53,000 attributed to tailpipe emissions in the United States every year.
|CHEAP-LOOKING INTERIOR: Chevrolet displayed the homely Bolt EV (and Volt plug-in hybrid, rear), neither of which have been setting sales records. A Chevrolet spokesman wouldn't comment on why the Bolt EV doesn't appear in its own TV commercial.|
|THIS EV REALLY STINKS: BMW chose to show the i3s, a sportier version of its funky all-electric car, which has a range of 114 miles, but this one was equipped with a "range extender" -- a 2-cylinder gasoline engine.|
|Jaguar says the all-electric I-Pace, above and below, is expected to go on sale at the end of the year, and compete with Tesla's Model X. The I-Pace will have an MSRP of $69,500 and a range of 240 miles.|
|A Jaguar spokesman said the "I" in I-Pace stands for "ion" as in the lithium-ion batteries the four-door hatchback uses.|
|Hyundai showed the all-electric Kona, above and below, a crossover that also is expected to go on sale at the end of this year.|
|The Kona EV will have a range of 250 miles, Hyundai said, a bit more than the Chevy Bolt EV.|