DETROIT ROCK CITY: Hybrids and electrics are the center of attention at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Environmental Leader put together a summary of green offerings, including the Honda Insight, Chevrolet Volt, 3rd generation Toyota Prius, and Ford's plans for upcoming model years. The Big 3 (especially GM) have been emphasizing hybrids and AFVs in its media coverage and promotions, as have major foreign automakers (especially Honda, Toyota, and Mercedes Benz). When the alt-fuel vehicle movement began right after federal environmental legislation was adopted in 1990, it was full speed ahead until the mid-1990s, when affordable gas prices and the mass market production and discount offerings of pickups and SUVs took over Detroit and moved Toyota and other automakers in that direction. It's more than ironic to see Detroit and the global auto industry in an economic vice grip, but this time, green vehicle offerings are the primary focus. -- J.L.
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