The 2019 edition of the Los Angeles Auto Show will again focus on electrified vehicles and...

The 2019 edition of the Los Angeles Auto Show will again focus on electrified vehicles and mobility trends.

Photo courtesy of LA Auto Show.

The Los Angeles Auto Show is ready to give you a double helping of electrified vehicles and mobility updates, even if you may feel lightheaded from earlier healthy helpings of these servings from the meal.

The trade show that leads off the event, known as Automobility LA, began on Monday with a mobility summit. That followed Ford's Sunday announcement at an off-site location of its 2021 Mustang Mach-E battery-electric SUV that Ford promised will deliver Porsche-like performance.

"There's little doubt of the general interest in electric vehicles, particularly in southern California," according to Mark Schirmer, a spokesman for Cox Automotive. "That said, the future is hardly confirmed, as a number of obstacles remain."

Many of the manufacturers have scheduled press conferences for Wednesday to announce new vehicles, which should include an array of fully electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. This year, 38% of the debuting vehicles at the press and trade days are hybrid or electric, according to AutoMobility LA.

Toyota is introducing a plug-in hybrid RAV4 variant. BMW and Mini are debuting several electrified models, including a pair of plug-in hybrids in the X3 xDrive30e and 330e that will share the same engine.

Another new arrival, the Mini Cooper SE, is an EV that was initially announced in July.

On Thursday, Tesla is expected to reveal its battery electric CyberTruck pickup at an off-site event in Hawthorne. It will compete with Ford's F-150 EV and could arrive as early as 2021. The Tesla truck could have up to 500 miles of range and capability to tow 300,000 pounds, according to reports.

Lincoln's Corsair plug-in hybrid, which is expected to be announced during the show, will be the smallest vehicle in the lineup and a sign of additional electrified Lincoln vehicles to come.

Audi will reveal its all-new, fully electric e-tron Sportback, while Volkswagen will debut an all-electric concept.  

In the past few years, the Auto Show has devoted Tuesday to mobility-focused content, and this year is no exception. Taking place in the Technology Pavilion outside the Los Angeles Convention Center, Tuesday's agenda features subject matter experts from the auto and tech industries as well as exhibits, vehicle debuts, test drives, and press announcements.

This year Carsten Breitfeld, who became Faraday Future's CEO in September, will be interviewed by the Wall Street Journal's Tim Higgins. He was formerly the CEO of Byton and once ran BMW's i8 program.

Also Tuesday, Karma Automotive will host a presser for the global reveal of its Revero GTS performance, all-electric crossover. Other Tuesday panels will address "Trust Is Everything in the Future of AVs," micromobility, and other forward-looking topics.

The tide for adoption of electrified vehicles by fleets may be shifting, as corporations have begun to more seriously consider these options. EVs offer lower maintenance costs, no fuel expenses in some cases, and much less preventive maintenance. At the moment, they mostly remain confined to public sector fleets, said Tom Coffey, senior vice president of sales for Merchants Fleet.

"Electric vehicles continue to be a viable alternative for fleet selector lists where sustainability goals, lifecycle cost, and job application are a fit," Coffey said. "While we are seeing EVs being considered on a more frequent basis in general, those that have adopted EVs into the fleet are concentrated in the public and government sectors today along with use cases where a vehicle's application is closed circuit or hub and spoke.

"Clients often cite EV benefits around emissions reduction, digital connectivity, and energy efficiency as key factors in adoption, while recharge time, station infrastructure, and driving range continue to be points of contention in fleet manager decisions around EV offerings."

About the author
Paul Clinton

Paul Clinton

Former Senior Web Editor

Paul Clinton covered an array of fleet and automotive topics for Automotive Fleet, Government Fleet, Mobile Electronics, Police Magazine, and other Bobit Business Media publications.

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