March 30, 2011
Denver Auto Show is ever-green

Honda CR-Z Sport Hybrid drag racing car - Denver Post Photo

Green on steroids: The Denver Auto Show is no stranger to “green” cars but this year is about green cars without the wimp-factor, including a flex-fuel Bentley Continental. We have some great photos of preparations for the show, which The Denver Business Journal says will be the largest ever at the Colorado Convention Center. The Denver Auto Show opens its doors tonight at 6 p.m. (Photo by Andy Cross, The Denver Post)

Last year we reported that clean and green were the emphasis of the 2010 Denver Auto Show, but The Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt were both absent. Both electric cars were much-hyped by the the 2010 Denver Auto Show, but their manufacturers declined to send examples of the cars, which they expected to hit showroom floors by the end of last year.

Also absent was the Tesla Roadster, a high-performance electric car with a $109,000 sticker price whose manufacturer is now suing one of Britain’s most popular television shows, BBC Two’s monumental Top Gear, for misrepresenting the car in a segment that was first broadcast three years ago.

This year, however, both the Volt and the Leaf will be on display. The cars are not yet sold in Colorado, and though they could be by the end of this year, waiting lists for the limited production vehicles are long.

In 2009, the Volkswagen Jetta Clean Diesel won Green Car of the Year at the Denver Auto Show the same week the Obama administration rejected restructuring plans from ailing General Motors and Chrysler, days after the ouster of GM’s Rick Wagoner.

The Auto Show comes at a good time, though: New car sales in 2010 showed improvement over 2009, and a January, 2011, report shows that upswinging trend may be continuing.

Speaking of new cars: In December, that “new-car smell” was cited in court documents as a possible factor in an accident resulting from a driver falling asleep at the wheel. An accident reconstructionist discovered the fumes wafting from the car in question, The Vail Daily reported. On July 3, 2010, the hit-and-run accident in Eagle, Colo., left Dr. Steven Milo injured after he was hit while bicycling. Martin Erzinger, accused of hitting Milo with his Mercedes and leaving the scene, later received a sentence of 90 days in jail and one year of probation in the case. Speaking of fumes…

Gasoline retail in Colorado is running on them. Even though the price at the pump keeps going up, many Colorado fuel markets are among the country’s least profitable. Retailers say spikes in the wholesale cost are coming too fast for them to keep up by bumping stations’ prices. Big-box discounters and grocery stores that offer a discount based on grocery purchases aren’t helping, either, reports The Post’s Steve Raabe.

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