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    Live From the International Auto Show

    Toyota fuel cell cars lead alternative fuel-powered vehicles at expo.

    By Don Longo, Convenience Store News

    NEW YORK -- My overall impression of this year’s New York International Auto Show was that, compared to years past, it was just a solid exhibition with the usual assortment of exotic high-end models and concept cars, along with more gasoline-fueled models getting the alternative fuel treatment.

    It’s evident that automakers are trying to make cars with better fuel mileage and electric cars with longer ranges. Whether there’s demand or not, more models are coming out in hybrid or fully-electric versions.

    At this year's show, the most interesting new model on the alternative fuel front was Toyota's fuel cell cars, which are powered by fuel cells that generate electricity from hydrogen. These cars emit only water vapor. Toyota plans to bring to market a fuel cell sedan next year.

    Chevrolet was showing its 2014 Volt plug-in electric vehicle that travels approximately 50 miles after its first charge (on level terrain at temperate temperatures). The Volt and the Ford Fusion plug-in electric vehicle still sport pricy tags ($36,390 for the Volt, $41,000 for the Fusion), although both are eligible for federal credits of about $7,500.

    For my money, though, I’d go with the 2015 Chevy Cruze Diesel, an alternative fuel vehicle that gets 48 miles per gallon and costs only roughly $24,000.

    Other interesting sightings:

    • Toyota's Rav4 Electric SUV, starting at nearly $50,000.
    • The ultra-compact Tandem two-seater concept vehicle from Toyota.

    • Hottest sports car: There were so many to choose from, but I liked the 2015 Corvette Z06, the Porshe 911 Turbo S and the new 50th anniversary Ford Mustang.

    The 2014 New York International Auto Show runs until April 27 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

    By Don Longo, Convenience Store News
    • About Don Longo Don Longo is editorial director of EnsembleIQ's Convenience Store News. He has covered retailing for more than 30 years as a reporter, editor and publisher. Previously, he spearheaded the editorial efforts at a variety of business publications focused on mass, drug, grocery and specialty store retailing. Convenience Store News won American Business Media’s Jesse H. Neal Award for Best Issue of the Year in 2008 and 2012. Longo has won numerous other editorial awards over his career and is frequently quoted in the national and local news media on the subjects of retailing and consumer trends.

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