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NAIAS 2019: Electric cars are on the rise at Detroit auto show

Denis Le Vot, senior vice president and chairman, Nissan North America, introduces the Nissan IMs, a pure electric all-wheel drive concept car with fully autonomous drive capability on January 14, 2019 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Mich. (PHOTO: Nissan)

DETROIT - Automakers have promised to start selling hordes of electric cars in the next few years.

But so far that isn't happening.

Cheap gas and range issues continue to plague electric cars.

Most major automakers still say their future is electric.

Nothing symbolizes the dilemma facing electric cars in this country quite like the Chevy Volt. Its no where to be found at this auto show.

Despite all that the new president of GM says its committed to electric, especially with Cadillac.

"This is a very original brand that has a very rich history and we're here to make that possible again and electrification is a big part of that,” said Mark Reuss, GM President.

Honda is all in, too.

"These cars have come a long way as technology has improved, you know battery life is longer range is getting longer so today its really no compromise,” said Natalie Kumaratnea, Honda Communication.

For all the talk about electric vehicles, only two will be unveiled at this show and those aren’t even ready for production.

A Canadian engineering major expects that will change.

"Depending on where you are or where you live, gas prices will keep going up. So eventually it’s going to start mattering. And when it gets to that point, people are going to want something to turn to,” said Andrew George of Hamilton, Ontario.

It’s a story full of contrasts. In the U.S. fully electric vehicles amounted to less than 1 percent of new vehicles through august last year.

But Infinity says it'll offer electric on all its vehicles in just 2 years.

"Perhaps in this country electric got off to a slow start because of the distance in the batteries wasn't quite there,” said Peter Tocco, Infiniti Senior Product Specialist.


Volkswagen, the world’s largest automaker, wants to increase its number of electric models from six to over 50 by 2025.

"It's our objective at Volkswagen to become the most relevant player in this segment by 2025,” said Dr. Herbert Diess, Volkswagon CEO.

RELATED LINK: VW chief executive discusses partnership with Ford Motor Company

Another problem is a $7,500 federal tax credit for electric vehicles that's starting to expire.


RELATED LINK: Federal tax credit for electric cars expiring

RELATED LINK: What you need to know about federal tax credit for electric cars

All the major manufacturers have electric or hybrid vehicles but they're a tough sell right now because of the gas prices. But that's expected to change as the costs of the vehicles goes down and the price of gas goes up.

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