The auto industry is in the middle of a revolution.
It “seems like kind of a mixed moment for EVs. There are still many great ones launching but those companies are still all launching gas-powered vehicles as well,” said Emily Dreibelbis, EV reporter at PCMag.
At the Chicago Auto Show this week, EVs are front and center.
Show organizers brought me to the Windy City to experience the show, which has been going on for more than 100 years. It’s North America’s largest auto show, even though this year it is smaller than last year, mostly due to car brand Stellantis not being in attendance.
They make Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Ram and more.
Still, there was plenty to see.
“Chicago Auto Show has kind of a family atmosphere. People in the city talk about going here when they grew up and now they’re coming back with their kids,” said Dreibelbis.
EVs get a lot of attention, but still, only make up about 2 million of the 290 million cars on the road in the U.S.
With affordability and cold weather performance concerns in parts of the country, not everyone is rushing out to buy one.
Remember those Teslas frozen at the charging station? That happened near Chicago.
“There’s going to be internal combustion cars, gas and even diesel-powered vehicles on the road for decades to come,” said Sam Abuelsamid, automotive analyst at Guidehouse Insights.
On the floor, just about every car brand you can think of.
“It’s cool to see all these cars back to back and to see kind of a company’s whole line up all right next to each other,” said automotive TikToker Drake Moschkau.
The Mustang Mach-E in the new Eruption Green color with a bronze appearance package was on display.
So was the new all-electric Escalade IQ, which will go 450 miles and cost $130,000. The 55-inch digital touchscreen inside is incredible.
Some brands are making electric versions of the cars we know and love, like Chevy with the electric Silverado.
Volkswagen is leaning heavily into nostalgia with a three-row electric ID Buzz, which is based on the 1967 Bus. They had both on display.
Even EV companies that don’t typically attend car shows were there.
Luxury EV startup Lucid showing off a “stealth” version of its Air sedan.
In a first, Tesla is in attendance, showing off both the Cybertruck and the refreshed Model 3.
“Elon Musk used to talk about infinite demand for Tesla vehicles,” said Abuelsamid. “Well, it’s not so infinite anymore. They’re having to market a little more aggressively than they have in the past.”
The company just announced a deal for $1,000 off their bestselling Model Y in February.
And, although they might have to market a little harder, the Cybertruck was drawing some of the biggest crowds on the floor.