Will Las Vegas eclipse Detroit for electric vehicles?

Ford has posted teaser images on Facebook ahead of a major introduction planned at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas later this week, despite the huge North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) taking place in Detroit next week.

The US automaker's CEO Alan Mulally is one of the most high-profile speakers of the Las Vegas event and is widely expected to unveil the Ford Focus Electric, a battery-powered version of its hugely popular Focus.

On January 3, the brand's Facebook page posted a teaser image, showing a wheel arch and door section with a glowing blue charging point, something that could have come straight out of Tron.

The full unveiling will take place at 11 AM PST on Friday, January 7, when Mulally gives his keynote presentation, which is also expected to touch on the automaker's in-car navigation and entertainment system, SYNC.

It's no secret that Ford is working on an electrified Focus - set for release later this year - although the decision to hold the launch at CES rather than at next week's North American International Auto Show is likely to ruffle some feathers in Detroit.

Despite having a strong presence at CES in recent years (Mulally gave a speech last year), the automaker normally unveils new vehicles at the mainstream automotive shows and the Detroit event has been working hard to improve its green credentials ahead of the first press day on January 10.

In doing so, it has succeeded in winning away some of the green announcements that would normally be made at the LA Auto Show, such as that of Toyota, which will unveil the Prius family at NAIAS January 10.

However, with Audi Chaiman Rupert Stadler also set to give a keynote speech at CES January 6 and Toyota and General Motors also present on the Las Vegas show floor, it seems that today's automakers believe the drivers of tomorrow are just as likely to be at an electronics show.

http://www.cesweb.org

http://www.naias.com

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