This year, there was a nice range of eco-friendly vehicles for every taste and budget at the New York International Auto Show. The choices varied from the smart ebike to the sexy and sustainable, but hardly affordable, Porsche 918 Spyder and everything in between.
As a former Manhattanite, my personal favorite for urban mobility was the smart ebike. It’s a Pedelec (Pedal Electric Cycle), which means a sensor detects pedaling and activates the motor to provide additional electric assistance to your muscle power. You can choose from four levels in drive mode that let you decide how much assistance you want from the electric motor as you ride. Then, of course, you can just use it for regular cycling without power assistance. In addition, you can even recharge the battery through simple pedaling. Its compact lithium-ion battery can cover up to 100 km depending on the cycling style and topography of the route. The smart ebike has a cool look with a two-material and two-color concept. It comes in two color choices: crystal white with electric green accent trim parts and matt dark grey with flame orange accent trim parts.
When it comes to sporty design, I really liked the two BMW i Models: the all-electric BMW i3 and the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports vehicle. The BMW i3 is the first mass-produced car that integrates the use of structural CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic) that’s as strong as steel, yet about 50% lighter. The entire production of the CFRP is powered by hydroelectric energy locally in the US. Another eye-catching vehicle was the Toyota i-ROAD that seats two passengers in tandem. The three-wheeled EV combines an electric motor and battery that can travel 30 miles on a charge with a stability system that automatically balances the vehicle when turning. It’s a cool energy-efficient mix between a motorcycle and a car. This makes it ideal for urbanites since it fits into narrow parking spaces. Overall, it was nice to see so many manufacturers work on energy-efficient concepts for a more sustainable future.