LA Auto Show looks to the future with new high-tech, electric vehicles

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 09:45PM
The Bollinger B1 is an offroad electric prototype on display at the Los Angeles Auto Show.


LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles Auto Show industry and press days get started with what they call Auto Mobility.

Basically it's a look at the future of getting around, with lots of stuff being pitched to auto companies by suppliers. It's a technology fair, in a way.

But there's also some technology that would seem ready to go, or at least close to it. One sleek new sedan is from an upstart luxury electric vehicle maker called Lucid.

"This is our prototype: we call it Lucid Air. But it's an 'alpha' prototype, not a show car. This is a pre-production build, which means it's about 98 percent representative of the car we want to launch in 2019," said Derek Jenkins, vice president of design for Lucid Motors.

Here in 2017, I got to go for a ride in the stylish prototype, and I got a great view of downtown LA buildings through the glass roof, which is essentially the windshield extending way back to beyond the front seats. The range of this car is claimed to be up to 400 miles.

And like most everyone, I asked how it compares to a Tesla.

"We don't consider Tesla a luxury product. It's a sporty car, it's very quick, but it's not a luxury vehicle. Our goal is to really create a luxury car to compete with the highest level German products and English products," said Jenkins.

On display in the LAConvention Center's lobby are some other electric start-ups that are aimed at a lower price point, and which obviously play in a different space. Think small kit cars with electric motors.

Or how about something for the wide-open spaces? An all-electric prototype is called the Bollinger B1. It's not only a pure plug-in, but it can go off-road.

"It is a four-wheel drive truck built primarily for off-road, but you can use it on road, like a Land Rover. We've got about 12,000 pre-orders right now, hand-raisers who said that they're interested in this. We've only been out for about three months with this truck, and there's a lot of interest," said Jeff Holland, spokesman for Bollinger Motors.

If you think you have interest in a Bollinger B1, you'll be waiting, along with the other 12,000. Plan on two years, or more, to get one.
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