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Behind The Wheel: A Look At The Growing Electric Vehicle Trend At The Chicago Auto Show

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Chicago Auto Show is back at McCormick Place and there's an electric vibe – literally.

Not only is it the first big convention since the pandemic began, it's also the public's first look at several new electric vehicles. CBS 2's Lauren Victory took a look inside the growing trend.

Tesla lovers may have to move over, as consumers may be doing an electric slide to other brands.

One Oak Park woman, Leela, wanted in on a non-gas trend, and outdoor test drives allowed her to do some thrilling research for a 2022 car purchase. She got in the back of some electric vehicles with Victory.

Victory: "What got you interested in an electric vehicle in the first place?"

Leela: "Honestly, if I don't ever have to look at gas again, I'd be so happy."

Miles till empty is front and center on the new Ford Mustang Mach-E, which is on the market and spicy on the acceleration, and brakes.

"It reacts to you in a tiny portion of a second, and no car you drove before did that," said Darren Palmer, Ford GM of Battery Electric Vehicles.

Ford leaders are also proud of frunks, or front trunks. The Ford F-150 Lightning has one where the engine used to be.

"It's a new space that's really changing the usage of vehicles from a truck to becoming a family vehicle," Palmer said.

Bigger electric vehicles will be hitting a road near you soon. The first edition of the Volkswagen ID4 is already sold out, and the sport-utility version of the Chevy Bolt is available now.

"I have been waiting for a vehicle that delivers range and functionality," said Paul Eisenstein, editor of the

Eisenstein explained the sudden surge of battery power is partially fueled by new environmental laws.

"In many parts of the world and in some parts of the United States, regulators are now saying gas and diesel will be banned entirely as soon as 2030 to 2035," he said.

If you're not ready to come and put a deposit – you could consider leasing an electric car for a few years instead of buying one. After all, technology is changing fast.

Number one electric car manufacturer Tesla was not at the Chicago Auto Show. We are told the automaker chose to pass.


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