Every automobile is the result of the work by designers and engineers. The combination of physics, mechanics, hydraulics and electronics come together to create a dynamic mechanism greater than the sum of its parts.
Technology, therefore, is the real king of every auto show, especially the NAIAS 2010; and Ford had the best display.
I realize many would have thought Electric Avenue would have netted the latest in technology. Fact is the ICE (internal combustion engine) is not dead; at least not yet. And the only display at Electric Avenue worth a read was the Nissan Leaf, complete with vehicle, charging station and a complete cutaway of the vehicle showing the SAE charge port as well as a high-voltage, 440-480v charge plug for faster charging.
For comparison, all GM had for the Chevy Volt was a standard 110v plug that requires 8 hours to recharge. The optional 3-hour charge station, which the public would want to see, was nowhere to be found. Shame, because even BYD, a Chinese automaker, showed a fast charging station. I’ll cover that issue in another article.
The Lithium, EV and Hybrid Debate
It’s disconcerting that I receive so many investment prods these days to buy stocks that mine lithium. Is lithium the only wave of the future? It may be the latest wave, but not the only wave. After all, Nickel-Metal Hydride batteries are being used by Ford as well as Toyota in the hybrid arena.
As I write, there are scientists in labs working on metal-air batteries using ionic fluids so as to allow any metal, like cheaper zinc, to be used for EV batteries. Be apprised that the electrolyte chemistry is more important than the metal base. Where present electrolyte fluids break down at 1.23 volts, ionic fluids extend that to 5 volts for faster charging and better energy-storage density. Nonetheless, Ford visibly showed the ins and outs of the existing nickel-metal hydride, the lithium-ion technology, as much as the latest valve-train tech for internal combustion engines.
Back to Ford
I have included a number of pics in a slideshow, where you will see a plethora of display stands covering every automotive propulsion technology that Ford is working on. Some are already in the cars on the show floor.
For the record, GM didn’t come close to the technology display of Ford. Toyota tried with its EV vehicle, However, Ford covered it all, in my opinion; and rightly deserves my nomination for Best Technology Display Award.
And for the record, I know Patrick Rall, Detroit Autos Examiner, is working on a writing project based on the collective opinions of other, local auto-related Examiners. I have already submitted my list.