Green technology is the theme at the Vancouver International Auto Show this year. Nary a manufacturer was without some green offering.
These new green cars included the zero-emission Nissan LEAF to the high-stamina Chevrolet Volt that can travel between 40 to 80 kilometres on electric power alone. It still may be some time before we start seeing them rival the popularity of Civics and Mazda 3s on the roads, though.
“Slowly but surely -- it’s a long slow process anytime you have a new technology," said Blair Qualey, president of the New Car Dealers Association of BC who organizes the show. "If you think back to big screen TVs when they first came out, not a whole lot of people had one, because they were pretty darn expensive.”
“The manufacturers are working really hard, and now with clean energy vehicle incentives, they get up to $5,000 off one of these qualifying vehicles so it makes it much easier to get into it perhaps a little sooner than they might have otherwise,” Qualey added.
Further helping with the cause to go electric were the luxury-sedan electric car Fisker Karma, boasting a top speed of approximately 200 km/h, and the famous Tesla Roadster that takes a mere 3.7 seconds to go from zero to 100 km/h.
Aside from purely environmentally-friendly offerings, about 26 of the automotive brands presented at the show had their usual staples on display with some debuting brand new models like Scion’s highly-anticipated 200-horsepower rear wheel drive sports car the FR-S. A joint project with Subaru who will be releasing their own version dubbed the BRZ, the affordable sticker price of $25,990 already has enthusiasts signing up on growing waitlists.
“The price was just released on Monday,” said show representative Steven Yago. “In June it should be available at dealerships.”
Sleek coupes like the FR-S represent an aesthetic renaissance in the world of cars, Qualey said.
“Some people have suggested that the industry is bringing sexy back in terms of design in the vehicles. There was a period of time that design wasn’t the big focus, but we’re starting to really see some fun coming back into the vehicles. It’s OK now to love your car again," he said.
The show runs until Sunday. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and students and $4 for kids. For more information visit the Vancouver International Auto Show website.