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One of the biggest motoring events of the year is just around the corner - the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show. Manufacturers will be out in force with the best of their product lineup and a combination of glitzy stands and glitzy girls to make the metal seem that little bit more appealing.
What we're interested in though are the electric cars being shown off to the public, so here is our run-down of the five cars we think you should spend the most time checking out at the show.
2011 Nissan Leaf
If you've not heard of Nissan's Leaf by this point we might politely suggest you emerge from underneath that pile of rocks - the Nissan is big news. If you're wanting to know specifics then you'd be best served by our Ultimate Reference Guide
, but for many the L.A. show should be the first opportunity to get up close and personal with the finished production car.
We've driven the Leaf at several stages from prototype through pre-production and finally production models and every time we come away impressed at how complete and polished it feels, but don't take our word for it - have a sit inside at the show and let us know what you think.2011 Chevrolet Volt
2011 Chevrolet Volt test drive, Michigan, October 2010Enlarge Photo
Like the Leaf, the Volt has been making headlines, although sometimes not always for the best
. Regardless, we've seen it through from concept stage and now the production Volt is upon us.
John Voelcker over at our sister site GreenCarReports has driven the production version
and gives it a thumbs-up. He was one of a small band of journalists who managed to improve upon GM's quoted 40 mile all-electric range, showing what is possible if you're looking to buy one to handle daily commuting and weekend social duties. Price is around $41,000 before federal and local incentives. Although styling is cautious, the interior is a good place to spend time and when the range-extending gasoline engine kicks in, you'll barely notice.
For even more info, head over to GreenCarReports' Ultimate Guide to the 2011 Chevrolet Volt
.2011 Coda Sedan
Unlike the Leaf and Volt we're yet to properly get our hands on Coda's Sedan, but you can have a look around the Leaf-sized EV at the show. With more of a traditional (some might say staid) look than its Leaf competitor and a heftier price tag, it's certainly going to have to win EV advocates by other means in order to succeed.
What Coda hopes is that customers will be swayed by the longer and possibly more consistant range (up to 120 miles) the Sedan offers. With thermally-managed batteries, you should get consistant performance whether you live in Alaska or Arizona. Of course, initially you'll only be able to buy the car in California and Hawaii, but it's nice to know it can cope further afield. It's expensive at $44,900 before incentives
, but we're sure to find out soon if it's worth the asking price.