Inside Information From Mac - E-Cars Concern Detroit Show Fans
By Mac Gordon
The Auto Channel
DETROIT - January 18, 2013: Fire hazards persist as a public concern on hybrid and all-electric cars, according to a majority of visitors in the second week of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).
Pollsters at the Cobo Center in downtown Detroit are being surprised by the large number of attendees bringing up the fire issue at the vehicle displays.
Nearly all of the displays include an electric vehicle, a NAIAS first, stirring a public focus likened to the miles-per-gallon question.
A Volkswagen/Audi display veteran, Wendy Reiss, said that the issue of fires and related electric shocks now is as common on the floor as MPG, a metric required on new-vehicle window data stickers by federal law.
“It's harder to handle the fire question,” says auto show veteran Emma Green, “because it is a downer, but we assure them that the safety regulations are on all vehicles and no one can be hurt like the lithium-ion battery in their cell phones.”
“As to MPG, there is also a lot of uncertainty, but we point to the 'Monroney' stickers and add that how cars are driven has a lot to do with everyone's MPG average.”
U.S. Senator Mike Monroney sponsored the new-veicle price sticker in the 1970s. Prices shown are suggested prices that guide the selling process and only last year were amended to show MPG averages.
This year’s show is expected to draw record turnouts over the first weekend in the enlarged Cobo Hall. The Detroit Auto Show has been staged annually in January since 1907.