Alternative-Fuel Vehicles Getting Most Attention

Here are alternative-fuel models garnering the most attention. FORD FOCUS PHEV: Due out in late 2011. A PHEV version of the Ford Escape HEV SUV is scheduled to be launched in 2012. FORD TRANSIT CONNECT: Transit Connect is a battery-powered electric commercial van designed for small businesses that do a lot of deliveries. VOLVO C30 EV: The Swedish auto maker expects to release 50 of these small cars

Here are alternative-fuel models garnering the most attention.

FORD FOCUS PHEV: Due out in late 2011. A PHEV version of the Ford Escape HEV SUV is scheduled to be launched in 2012.

FORD TRANSIT CONNECT: Transit Connect is a battery-powered electric commercial van designed for small businesses that do a lot of deliveries.

VOLVO C30 EV: The Swedish auto maker expects to release 50 of these small cars to consumers around the world, starting late this year. The idea is to assess the viability of a limited-range (90 mi/144 km) EV, and how it performs under real-world driving conditions.

CHEVROLET VOLT: Production is to begin late in 2010. Volume is about 60,000 initially, so this is no small feat. Initial Volt launch markets will be important in validating the retail readiness for such vehicles.

CADILLAC XTS PLATINUM: This concept car shown at the Detroit auto show hints at fullsize luxury possibilities in a PHEV. It could deliver 350 hp.

NISSAN LEAF: It's hailed as the first affordable all-electric vehicle by a major manufacturer and takes styling cues from the new Murano. Nissan says its goal is to get to zero emissions.

MITSUBISHI PX I-MIEV: A cross/utility vehicle, it sells in Japan for about $48,000, nearly double the price of the traditional HEV version.

TOYOTA FT-CH: The PHEV concept seen in Detroit weighs less and gets better fuel economy than big brother Prius. It's designed for city driving.

CHRYSLER ELECTRIC FIAT 500: It's small, but the popular Euro electric car is three feet longer than the SmartForTwo.

HONDA CR-Z HEV: The sporty vehicle shows Honda is sticking to its successful hybrid formula. The CR-Z delivers 122 hp from a gasoline engine paired with Honda's Integrated Motor Assist hybrid system.

HYUNDAI BLUE WILL EV: It's a concept car that would run solely on a lithium polymer battery for 20-40 miles (32-64 km).

BMW VISION EFFICIENTDYNAMICS: BMW AG shocked some by announcing that Formula 1 racing programs will take a back seat to its green goals. Its diesel PHEV is in the wings. BMW says top speed would be about 155 mph (248 km), fuel economy 62 mpg (3.8L/100km) and carbon emissions virtually non-existent.

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