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Electric vehicles out in force at Vancouver International Auto Show

McLaren 650S supercar
The McLaren 650S supercar can go from zero to 100 km/h in only three seconds and tops out at 333 km/h.

McLaren 650S makes North American debut, but electric vehicles could steal the show

Posted by Blaine Kyllo

The North American debut of the McLaren 650S happens in Vancouver today at the Vancouver International Auto Show.

The slick and speedy supercar can go from zero to 100 km/h in only three seconds and tops out at 333 km/h, but for all its splendour, it may not be the car that gets everyone talking.

A host of electric vehicles (EVs), hybrids and zero-emission models, threaten to steal the show.

At the media preview today, nearly every opening statement made by representatives of the various manufacturers selling vehicles in Canada made mention of the environment, whether it was striving for fuel efficiency or a desire to reduce carbon footprints.

Mitsubishi’s John Arnone talked about his company's efforts to "reduce the impact of motor vehicles on our planet."

There are three categories of EVs – hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and zero-emission electric – and all three are represented at the 94th annual event.

Tomás Valero Ribes said that the BMW Group's development of their groundbreaking electrics – the all-electric i3 and the i8 hybrid sports car – began in 2009.

Of the more the 400 vehicles on display, organizers said there were 20 that were plug-in enabled, either gas-electric hybrids or zero-emission electrics, including:

  • BMW i3, (zero emission)
  • BMW i8
  • Cadillac ELR Coupe
  • Chevrolet Volt
  • Ford Focus Electric (zero emission)
  • Kia Soul EV, (zero emission)
  • Mitsubishi i-MiEV (zero emission)
  • Nissan Leaf (zero emission)
  • Smart fortwo electric drive (zero emission)
  • Toyota Plug-in Prius

Some other highlights of the Vancouver International Car Show:

  • Collector cars from the '50s and '60s
  • Exotics on display include the aforementioned McLaren, as well as the 2014 editions of Aston Martin V12 Vantage S, Bentley Continental FT V8 Convertible S, Ferrari California, Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4, Lotus Evora, and Maserati Quattroporte
  • A driving simulator from Subaru outside the exhibition hall and another at the Ford booth
  • A live auction, of a 1966 Mustang Coupe, on Saturday, March 29 at 2 p.m.
  • Volkswagen dealers of the Lower Mainland are sponsoring a free childcare play centre so parents only have to worry about their fingerprints

Blaine Kyllo is a North Vancouver-based freelance writer and frequent contributor to bchydro.com.