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Greater Cleveland Auto Show opens with a glimpse into the electric future of the industry

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Posted at 5:57 PM, Feb 25, 2022

CLEVELAND — The mood around any auto show has always been electric but it’s even more so this year - literally. The 2022 lineup features more electric vehicles than ever before. With just about every automaker here offering this year what they call “plug-in hybrid” options.

“It’s like having an EV Monday through Friday and a super efficient gas vehicle on the weekend,” said Toyota Product Specialist Trevor Richardson.

So it can be an entirely electric vehicle that you could use with gas for long trips if charging stations are an issue. Jeep, for one, is committed to offering by 2025 every one of their vehicles with a plug-in hybrid option.

“The infrastructure is not there yet around the country. There are not as many charging stations, maybe in places like Cleveland there might be, but in other places of the country there’s not,” said Jeep Communications Manager Kelley Enright.

The folks at Nissan point out that all-electric vehicles like their new Arriya are cheaper to operate. Not only no gas and no oil changes, but also way fewer moving parts.

“There’s almost no maintenance on an electric car and the per-mile cost could be 50-80% lower,” said Nissan Product Specialist Ken Paul.

One of the other benefits of certain electric vehicles like the Ford F-150 Lightning, said Ford Regional Manager Paul Buchek, is it can serve as a backup generator for your house if the power goes out.

“We’ve had several customers call us already — one example they had, a wedding the power went out, the F-150 was able to light the wedding up so they could continue with the festivities after the wedding.”

The auto dealers are ecstatic to be back after a two-year wait, said Lou Vitantonio, President of the Greater Cleveland Auto Dealers Association.

“Because what makes Cleveland’s auto show unique is people look today and literally buy tomorrow," he said. “We studied this for over ten years, March is the number one selling month of any month in our market. People are like what are you talking about March? March is it because coming off the auto show."

The show runs at the IX Center through Sunday, March 6.

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