The future was on full display at the 2023 Canadian International AutoShow at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The electric vehicle market continues to gain popularity as manufacturers look toward a zero-exhaust emissions future.
On more than 650,000 square feet of showroom space, for the first time in the show’s 50-year history, was Electric City. This put the spotlight not only on electric vehicles, but also on vehicle home charging options and renewable electricity.
This year’s car show saw the arrival of 76 electric vehicles, or 109 when including EVs, hydrogen cars and plug-in hybrids. To start off the media day festivities, the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association presented their electricity generated concept car, Project Arrow, which was engineered and built in Canada with local energy resources. So, it was fitting that the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) Car of the Year Award went to the BMW i4 and the AJAC Utility of the Year went to the Hyundai IONIQ 5 – both of which are fully electric vehicles.
As a reflection of the electric revolution, Hyundai, for example, had three production EVs (Kona EV, IONIQ 5 and IONIQ 6) and two concept cars (RN22e and N Vision 74) at its booth at the show. At the last auto show, in 2020, General Motors had one battery electric vehicle on display, whereas this year the company had 21.
Achieving Zero Emissions by 2035
At the auto show, it was evident that electric vehicles are rapidly becoming the norm for Canada’s automotive industry. The government has mandated that all new cars sold in the country must be zero-emission by 2035 in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“There is a symbiotic relationship between the AutoShow and the automotive industry,” says Jason Campbell, general manager of the Canadian International AutoShow. “We work closely with our manufacturer partners when we are planning the show to ensure that we are building a program that supports the sector while providing interesting content that will attract potential car buyers to the show.”
Campbell added: “Much of the content that we do display is provided by the automotive companies. They make the decisions on the cars that they are going to bring to the show and where they will put their emphasis. We then work with them to amplify their stories with the car-buying public and automotive enthusiasts.”
As battery technology evolves, so does safety technology
As the technology and innovations of electric cars continue to improve, the technologies around safe driving is also improving.
“Technology is increasingly at the service of safety in modern vehicles thanks to active safety features that help prevent accidents before they even happen,” says Ken Maisonville, director of national sales at Hyundai Auto Canada.
“Features such as Lane Keeping Assist, Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance Assist, Rear-Cross Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist and Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian, Cyclist and Junction Detection all come standard on many of our models, including the IONIQ 5. Those technologies are making our roads safer every day.”
Overcoming Range Anxiety With Electric Car Batteries
When it comes to EVs, there are still a lot of people who have range anxiety – the fear of running out of battery power before reaching your destination. Some are also concerned about the potential difficulty of finding a place to charge the car when not at home. But EVs are evolving.
One individual working a booth in Electric City at the AutoShow said he still plugs his EV into a standard wall socket overnight and gets around 100 km of range: Over eight hours of charge.
But more people are opting for home charging stations at around $800, and the network of public charging stations is growing. The range on a typical EV battery in many vehicles today is similar to what you get out of a full tank of gas.
For urban commuters with home chargers, there is little range anxiety. But for longer drives the infrastructure with Level 3 public chargers (which take about 30 minutes to charge) is growing. Consult with a licensed electrical contractor to install your electric vehicle charging station.
The industry has advanced where EV batteries are reaching more than 500 kilometres in range. We are now seeing battery-powered performance cars and all-electric pickup trucks with a towing capacity of 10,000 pounds on the market. These developments are helping to attract greater numbers of Canadians to EVs.
In the coming months and years, we can expect electric vehicles to continue to evolve quickly and become more mainstream, with better battery technology (which gives faster charging times and reduces risks of over-heating), improved cost, fuel economy, weight and efficiency of electric motors, and more public EV charging stations becoming available.
Should I Purchase an Electric Car?
If you’re still on the fence about purchasing an electric vehicle, the Good Hands Advice has put together its list of The Pros And Cons Of Owning An Electric Vehicle. And if you have purchased an electric vehicle, and are looking to install a home charging station, we have tips that can help!
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