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EVs at the Auto Show

EVs at the Auto Show

April 24, 2018

The Vancouver International Auto Show broke records across the board this year. Total attendance surpassed 120,500 despite a shortened schedule as well as a new single-day record broken on the Friday of the event, as more than 31,000 car and truck enthusiasts passed through the turnstiles, proving British Columbia’s love of all things auto is stronger than ever.

The 98th Auto Show this year was also the greenest yet, breaking another record when it comes to electric vehicles (EVs). EVs took the spotlight on many of the OEM’s center stage and was also at the forefront of many visitors’ minds.

Breaking another record, the number of participants in the CEVforBCTM  Electric Vehicle Experience Test Drive increased 18 per cent over 2017, with more than 2,500 people taking the opportunity to take an EV or hybrid out for a test drive.

The Electric Vehicle Experience Test Drive by CEVforBCTM also offered show-goers who are eager to learn more about clean energy vehicles, how to charge them, and how to take advantage of the government’s current point-of-sales incentive program. Featuring five plug-in hybrid vehicle models and four battery electric vehicles, the number of test drives reflect British Columbia’s growing interest in going green.

Getting behind the wheel of an EV is a new experience for most drivers. These new models feature the top-of-the-line technology and features that have never been seen before. One pedal driving, for example, is an exciting innovation featured exclusively in EVs, and one that could take some getting used to. Many visitors used the Auto Show as the perfect opportunity to compare clean energy vehicle models across the board and I highly encourage anyone curious about switching to electric to try one out for themselves.

Another win for the electric enthusiasts was the highly-anticipated unveiling of the all-new 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric. Debuting simultaneously in New York on the North American market, the stylish new hatchback was the talk of the town and will come with two battery sizes – one for customers who want a longer range and one with a shorter range to suit the needs of different drivers.

The first ever compact electric crossover to hit the Canadian market, the Kona Electric may be the cure for range anxiety for those worried about charging – the long-range model boasts an impressive range of over 400 kilometres in one charge.

The Vancouver International Auto Show was also very proud to once again host the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) awards during its opening ceremonies, honouring the Canadian Green Car of the Year and the Canadian Green Utility Vehicle of the Year. The Chevrolet Bolt EV was named the 2018 Canadian Green Car of the Year, and the Kia Niro took home the honour of being the 2018 Canadian Green Utility Vehicle of the Year.

British Columbia boasts one of the largest charging networks and the highest EV sales per capita in the country. This year’s Auto Show was a testament to the staying power of green technology and what the future offers.

Blair Qualey is President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. You can email him at [email protected].

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