Green Cars Galore At Paris Motor Show

The Paris Auto Show, known more formally as the Paris Motor Show or Mondial de l’Automobile, holds a number of distinctions. It was, first off, the very first auto show ever held–way back in 1898, when no one was all that sure whether this whole automobile thing was destined to stick around. It is also the place where some truly legendary cars made their world debut, including the Porsche 911, the Plymouth Barracuda, Bentley’s Continental GT and Ferrari’s $670,000 wonder car, the Enzo.

This year’s auto show–running through the 17th of this month–features a lot of new model from major manufacturers and smaller companies alike, many of which reflect today’s trends towards greener cars. Hybrids and electric vehicles (EVs) abound, and the Auto Show is showing them off this year in a special electric car test center, a learning center dedicated to “eco-driving,” and an entire hall dedicated to emerging energies and clean cars. To give you a sense for the latest and greatest in green transportation on display in the City of Lights this week, EarthTechling offers these highlights of some of the 2010 Paris Auto Show green cars we’ve covered.

Fisker Karma Hybrid Plug-In

Fisker Karma

image via Fisker Automotive

It’s a gas/electric hybrid plug in that offers 100 mpg in annual fuel economy,  low emissions, a range of 300 miles, and a top speed of 200 miles per hour. Oh, and a unique plug-in hybrid electric powertrain technology that allows it to get 300 kW of power and more than 1,300 Nm (981 lb-ft) of torque at zero rpm–meaning basically, this Karma was designed to give Tesla’s Roadster a run for its money. But until now, the Fisker Karma had been a highly elusive creature, largely legendary. As of this year’s Paris Auto Show, that’s changed, as Fisker has brought a real live factory-produced Karma out to play. If this vehicle’s sports car good looks aren’t enough to make you swoon, consider the car’s interior wood accents, which are sourced from certified fallen, sunken and rescued wood to create “a luxurious sensory experience inspired by nature.” All right, already, we want it!

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.