Detroit Auto Show 2019: Car companies aren’t even trying to sell electric cars

The Detroit Auto Show got off to a roaring start this week as gas-guzzling newly unveiled sports cars, trucks, and SUVs took center stage, including the 2020 Kia Telluride, the largest SUV the company has ever produced.

Plug-in cars also garnered headlines, though less favorable ones. Infiniti’s concept all-electric SUV, the QX Inspiration, made news by dying before it could drive onto the stage. It was a four-wheeled metaphor for the auto industry’s fraught relationship with electric cars.

Car companies say they are going all in on plug-in cars, but experts and advocates have found that dealers and manufacturers are putting almost no effort into selling them. Ad spending for trucks and SUVs dwarfs ad spending for electric cars, and EV buyers report being frustrated by their experience at dealerships.