Green Update–>Paris Cars Coming/Not Coming to the U.S.

Renault DeZir concept

Of course, all the coolest of the cool Paris concept cars, like the Renault DeZir EV above, will be total pipedreams for a while. And, as usually happens, if they do come to exist, the U.S. won’t get them.

The reasons for this are pretty obvious—meeting safety standards, import/export costs, marketing/merchandising costs, dealer and support costs. Companies like Renault and Peugeot have had no presence in the U.S. for years, yet are showing very sharp cars, some ready for production, with advanced green technology.

What the Paris show revealed is that some of the world’s most interesting green technology will not come to the U.S. Cars like the Peugeot 3008 diesel hybrid (world’s first in production) will be for sale in Europe next spring. The car has diesel in front, electric in the rear, and Peugeot claims 74.4 mpg! I have seen the standard 3008 on the streets of Oaxaca, and it’s a sharp-looking car (see after the break).

Peugeot 3008 diesel hybridWe will also not get the Honda Fit hybrid (called the Jazz in Europe), which, says AutoblogGreen, “is a shame, as we’d rather see Honda dump the Insight here and bring us a Fit hybrid instead.” Amen.

Alright, enough complaining. Here are some cars possibly ready for production that are showing in Paris. The Audi A1 (below right) goes on sale in Europe this year, with the likelihood “quite high” that it will come here as a second-generation vehicle. But who knows when?

Audi A1 press imageJohn Voelcker of GreenCarReports highlights some of the Paris cars that are ready for production, including the Fisker Karma (in showrooms by March or April?). The U.S. version of the 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV will be unveiled at the Los Angeles show next month.

We told you earlier this week about Ford’s plans for the Focus. Among the Chevrolet cars shown was a redesigned Aveo hatch (for sale here next year), which will compete with Ford’s Fiesta.

Venturi America EV Dune BuggyThere were some nifty concepts, like the Venturi America EV Dune Buggy (right), which may one day come to light here, but don’t hold your breath.

So there are still two enormous gaps in the offerings at auto shows like Paris: the one between concepts and reality-based cars, and the one between European and North American production.

Would you go to an auto show to see what might be coming next in your neighborhood, or to ogle the far-out concepts?

—jgoods

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