EDTA Applauds Electric Drive Success at North American International Auto Show

In particular, EDTA congratulates Toyota for winning the "North American Car of the Year" award for its 2004 Prius hybrid electric vehicle. This prestigious award is given by a group of 49 automotive journalists from the United States and Canada.

January 8, 2004—As the 2004 North American International Auto Show continues in Detroit, the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) applauds the strong showing and recognition of electric drive technologies by automakers. In particular, EDTA congratulates Toyota for winning the "North American Car of the Year" award for its 2004 Prius hybrid electric vehicle. This prestigious award is given by a group of 49 automotive journalists from the United States and Canada.


The North American Car and Truck of the Year awards are designed to honor vehicles that set new standards in their class. Entries are judged in several categories including design, safety, fuel economy, performance, functionality, technical innovation and value for the dollar. This year's competition included 17 cars and 13 trucks.

Additional Electric Drive Announcements from the North American International Auto Show:

Toyota unveiled its Highlander hybrid SUV, which will be available in early 2005. The Highlander hybrid features a new version of Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain, offering the fuel economy of a compact sedan. Its estimated driving range will be over 600 miles on a single tank of gas, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will rate it as a super ultra low emission vehicle (SULEV).

Honda announced plans to introduce a hybrid Accord V6 in 2004, which will feature Honda's new Integrated Motor Assist technology and Variable Cylinder Management, offering the fuel economy of a 4-cylinder compact Civic.

Ford's Escape hybrid SUV is set for a 2004 release, and is expected to achieve 35-40 miles per gallon in city driving, with the performance of a V6.

Lexus introduced the RX 400h hybrid electric luxury SUV, which will go on sale in late 2004. The RX 400h features a full hybrid system, and operates in separate electric and gas modes, or in combination. It will be classified as a SULEV, and Lexus estimates fuel economy similar to that of a passenger car.

Mercedes-Benz showcased the Vision Grand Sports Tourer concept car, a SUV/minivan crossover vehicle with a diesel electric hybrid powertrain that features a 250 horsepower V8 diesel engine with a 50kW electric motor, providing 20% better fuel efficiency.

In addition, Mitsubishi Motors showcased a hybrid electric Eclipse Concept-E prototype which features a 150kW electric motor powered by lithium-ion batteries. Finally, Subaru promoted two electric drive concept vehicles: the B9SC hybrid electric roadster, and the pure-electric, zero-emission R1e.

EDTA Co-Chairman Eugene Zeltmann, President and CEO of New York Power Authority, praises the auto industry for its commitment to bringing clean and efficient electric drive technologies into the marketplace. "Hybrids have certainly taken center stage at the world's largest auto show, which proves that the technology is ready, the public is eager, and as more models are brought to market, electric drive will continue to make a significant impact."

EDTA is an international association representing the development, production and use of battery, hybrid and fuel cell electric drive technologies and supporting infrastructure. EDTA serves as the central source of information on all of the technical, market and policy issues surrounding the emergence of electric drive, and serves as the representative of the Americas to the World Electric Vehicle Association (WEVA). For more information about EDTA, visit www.electricdrive.org or call 202.408.0774.

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