DETROIT The potential of electric-powered cars was a highlight of the 2009 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) preview days, with several automakers unveiling their latest concepts and making big announcements.

In addition to revealing its all-new 2010 Ford Taurus, Ford also announced an aggressive plan to bring pure battery-electric vehicles, next-generation hybrids, and a plug-in hybrid to market quickly and more affordably during the next four years.

Chrysler also unveiled plans for its all-electric and range-extended electric vehicle (EV) portfolio across its vehicle lineup. The automaker plans to have at least one of the three prototypes introduced at the show by 2010.

General Motors premiered the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox, 2010 Cadillac SRX, 2010 Buick LaCrosse, and Cadillac Converj concept. Chevrolet also announced it will produce and bring to the U.S. the highly fuel-efficient Spark four-door mini car and seven-seat Orlando multi-purpose vehicle.

Toyota unveiled its new 50-mile-per-gallon third-generation Prius hybrid and debuted its FT-EV concept.

Last year's NAIAS featured a total of 58 vehicle debuts — 44 worldwide and 14 North American. Expected to draw more than 700,000 attendees including hundreds of celebrity names from all walks of life, nearly 7,000 international media from some 60 countries, and approximately 40,000 industry insiders from over 2,000 companies, other 2009 highlights during preview days include:

2009 North American Car and Truck of the Year: Hyundai Genesis and Ford F-150. The winners of the North American Car and Truck of the Year are selected by a jury of 50 automotive journalists who represent magazines, television, radio, newspapers and web sites in the United States and Canada. The awards recognize the most outstanding new vehicles in their segments.

2009 International Car of the Year: Nissan GT-R and Dodge Ram 1500. The 13th annual Road & Travel magazine awards honored new model year vehicles sold in America based on the emotional connection and compatibility between the car and the consumer as well as the automaker's success in achieving that goal through design and marketing. Winner selection is made by a jury of automotive journalists and editors.

The show will be open to the general public Jan. 17-25.