March 30, 2011
Honda Civic Si Concept Coupe (top); Mitsubishi iMiev; Chevrolet Volt. Click image to enlarge
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Article and photos by Greg Wilson
2011 Vancouver International Auto Show highlights
Vancouver, British Columbia – This year, Vancouver’s auto show has been moved to the Vancouver Convention Centre on the waterfront on the north side of Vancouver’s downtown core, but is scheduled to return to its long-time venue in B.C. Place Stadium in 2012 after its new sliding roof is completed. However, random comments from those in attendance at the media preview indicated a preference for the new convention centre, which was built for the Olympics, and a wish that the show would stay there permanently.
On Tuesday morning, the auto show was preceded by a media panel discussion of the future of electric cars in B.C., with representatives from Nissan, Mitsubishi, B.C. Hydro, and the New Car Dealer’s Association of B.C. The discussion centered around the need for government incentives to help purchase electric vehicles and subsidize in-home charging stations, and the need for funding for public charging stations and improved electric infrastructure and regulations. At the moment, only Ontario and Quebec offer cash incentives to defray the cost of electric cars, and the future of charging infrastructures is uncertain.
Electric cars at the show include the Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi MiEV, Chevrolet Volt, and Ford Focus EV. There are also many hybrids such as the new Toyota Prius v, and Lexus CT 200h.
GM has a big presence at the show, highlighting its Chevrolet Orlando mini minivan, its new subcompact Chevrolet Sonic hatchback, the all-new compact Buick Verano, the stylish Chevrolet Camaro convertible, and the wild GMC Granite concept car.
Ford is displaying its take-no-prisoners Ford Raptor pickup, the popular Ford Edge crossover, the all-new Ford Focus hatchback and sedan, the Ford Mustang Boss 302 re-creation, and the radically new Ford Explorer seven-passenger crossover.
Chrysler showed two attractive versions of its too-cute Fiat 500, a refaced Dodge Challenger, and restyled Chrysler 200 (formerly Sebring).
Toyota is displaying its new roomier Prius v hybrid, the stubby Scion iQ city car, a racy Scion tC tuner car, and the high-performance, limited edition Lexus LF-A.