Gas prices fuel auto show

With the cost of a gallon of gas soaring above $2 on average of late, gas prices are on everyone's mind here at the New York International Auto Show.

Hybrid gasoline-electric cars, many of which are now on the market, and hydrogen fuel vehicles are everywhere. And not all are concept cars. Honda is displaying its FCX. Nissan says its X-Trail fuel cell vehicle is beginning testing in California.

But one of the main factors holding fuel cell vehicles back is infrastructure. So far, there are less than 20 hydrogen fueling stations in California, the Nissan representative said.

His best guess for when fuel cell technology will become widely available--the point at which vehicle technology and hydrogen fuel availability intersect--is 2015.

Some might say that until then, hybrids are the best bet for environmentally minded drivers. Examples including the Toyota Prius, Lexus RX400h and Honda's hybrid Civic and Accord models are on view at the show.

But not everyone agrees that it's necessary to go out and grab a hybrid just because gas is getting more expensive.

Tom Purves, CEO of BMW USA, told reporters that if average drivers were to compare their annual gas expenses to the amount by which their cars depreciate in value each year, they'd be in for even more of a shock.

 

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