Inside the Seattle Auto Show, with more electric vehicles and a Hummer EV that’s ‘just crazy’ – GeekWire | CarTailz

The showroom at the Seattle International Auto Show at the Lumen Field Events Center on Thursday. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

They know the car electrification trend is getting serious when they launch the electric Hummer.

GMC’s Monster Hummer EV pickup is among the notable vehicles on display this weekend as the Seattle International Auto Show rolls back into the Lumen Field Events Center.

Featuring more than 300 cars, trucks, SUVs, crossovers, hybrids and more, electric vehicles are once again the talk of the show thanks to mainstream automakers investing more and more in the action.

“These are game changers. They’re the vehicles people want to drive,” said Tom Voelk, presenter for the show, auto journalist for The New York Times and host of the YouTube channel Driven. “They don’t look like sci-fi projects,” he added, pointing out Chevrolet’s new Blazer and Equinox EVs.

It’s electric? Yes. The new Hummer EV pickup. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)
The electric Chevy Blazer, left, and Equinox. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

Across the sprawling event center, Voelk GeekWire showcased numerous electric vehicles from Ford, Volkswagen, Audi, Kia, Nissan, BMW, Hyundai and more that are sure to turn heads.

“Cars are not just a means of transportation. They’re pop culture, they’re image, they’re status, they’re political symbols, they’re all sorts of things. EVs started out as those green images and quickly got nerdy. But now we have completely normal vehicles.”

Ford certainly learned that lesson with the F-150 Lightning pickup truck — an electrified version of America’s best-selling vehicle. The truck was on display at the show last year and is available for test drives this year. I couldn’t resist getting behind the wheel.

“Is it even on?” was the first thing that came out of my mouth as I started the truck – which I’ve never said on any truck I’ve ever driven. And the Lightning is unlike any truck I’ve ever driven.

Driving quickly through Pioneer Square and SoDo, the Lightning impressed me with how quickly it accelerated—with virtually no noise. This isn’t a new revelation for EV drivers, but behind the wheel of a big pickup truck it felt like some sort of magic.

“Electrification actually makes the F-150 better,” Voelk said. And the sale could confirm that. Ford announced last month that it tripled US electric vehicle sales in September, led by the Lightning.

Ford’s electric F-150 Lightning is available for test drives this year. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)
This isn’t the old farm pickup — inside the F-150 Lightning. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

The best way to make it feel special was to follow that test drive with a ride in Ford’s beefy (gas-powered) Bronco Raptor. With suspension and 37-inch tires designed for much rougher terrain, the loop around Lumen Field was a challenge. While the F-150 was comfortable on city streets, I would have preferred to get the Bronco dirty.

Talking about desirable electric trucks shows just how far electric vehicles have come, especially in a city where every other vehicle on the road these days seems to be a Tesla. Voelk called the Hummer EV a smart move by General Motors to show that electric vehicles aren’t just about the environment and that zero-emission vehicles can still have incredible capabilities.

“The Hummer was designed to ensure that the Truck brothers are comfortable with electrification,” he said. “I’ve driven the Hummer off-road and it’s incredible. It’s just crazy what it does. It will crab walk – it will literally move sideways. That makes 0 to 60 in three seconds.”

For sportier car fans, the show will once again feature an “Electric Highway” ad sponsored by Seattle City Light and Tacoma Public Utilities to compare electric vehicles from Chevrolet, Ford, Lexus, Polestar, Porsche, Volvo and Volkswagen. Audi eTron SUV, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Jaguar I Pace, Volkswagen ID.4 and Polestar are available for test drives.

The BMW i4. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)
Rear view of the Volkswagen ID.4. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

The ID.4 with its bright red VW emblem on the back and the honeycomb headlights in front is a special eye-catcher for the former Beetle and GTI driver. The cars on display will be manufactured at a new manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Visitors to the show, attracted to various electric vehicles, are sure to be drawn into the conversation about range and charging infrastructure. But Voelk thinks that focus is misguided given how many people use their vehicles predominantly for 30-40 miles of daily driving rather than long trips.

“EVs are at their best when you charge where you sleep,” he said. “But on a longer journey, yes, it will take a little longer. You just have to plan differently. It’s amazing how quickly your car charges just by going out for a cup of coffee. It’ll be almost ready when you go to Starbucks and get your frappuccino.”

Keep scrolling for more pictures from the Seattle International Auto Show, which runs through Sunday. Check opening times and ticket information here.

The Hyundai IONIQ 5 EV crossover. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)
The charging port on a Jeep Wrangler 4xe hybrid vehicle. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)
The Ford Bronco Raptor. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)
The Kia EV6. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)
The nose of a Ford Mustang Mach 1 fastback coupe. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)
Porsche Taycan. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)
Farewell Photo – The upper level of the car show features a variety of vintage and exotic models. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

Leave a Comment