Auto Shows & Concepts, EV - Electric Vehicles

Canadian International AutoShow [CIAS] To Offer Electric Vehicle Test Drives

The Canadian International AutoShow, in keeping with its 2018 theme of The New Movement, will offer free electric vehicle test drives to anyone attending this year’s show – Feb. 16-25 at the downtown Metro Toronto Convention Centre – as long as they are 21 and have a valid driver’s license.

Eight manufacturers of EVs – Nissan, BMW, Fiat-Chrysler, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Hyundai and Volvo – will display cars like the Nissan Leaf and the BMW i3 in the EVolution Zone.  General Motors and Ford (along with the previous eight) will offer up cars for test drives in nearby special sections in both the convention centre’s North and South Buildings.     As well as the Leaf and the i3, other EVs available to test will include the Chevrolet Volt and Bolt, the Outlander PHEV, the Honda Clarity, the Volvo XC40, the Hyundai IONIQ and the Ford Focus Electric.

ChevyBoltEV, BoltEV,, Iain Shankland

And you will find more than electric cars in the EVolution Zone. Have you ever thought that bombing around on a Segway might be exciting? That’s a two-wheel EV you drive while standing up. Or, how about a Vespa electric motor scooter? Vespa will have a display there too.

“The automotive world is changing and the Canadian International AutoShow is changing with it,” said AutoShow General Manager Jason Campbell. “You can’t go to any major auto show in the world, be it in Frankfurt or Shanghai or Los Angeles, and not see large numbers of electric vehicles on display. In February, the Canadian International AutoShow will be no different.”

AutoShow President Bob Redinger said that hardly a week goes by these days without an announcement of yet another major technological breakthrough in the industry. “Automakers are embracing all the technological advances available, be they electric, hybrid, hydrogen fuel-cell or autonomous innovations and the 2018 Canadian International AutoShow will reflect this,” he said.

The test drives, sponsored by Toronto Hydro, FLO (the AutoShow’s official EV charging network) and the Globe and Mail will be administered by the North York Electric Vehicle Discovery Centre’s Plug ‘n Drive program.

The EV Discovery Centre is located at 1126 Finch Ave. West and is open every day except Monday. Visitors can hear about the history of electric transportation dating back to 1835, learn about the environmental and economic benefits of electric transportation and find out how they can even save money on insurance by driving an electric vehicle.EV Discovery Centre,

While the AutoShow will have a special emphasis on the new evolutionary technologies shaping the automotive industry, it will also continue – and plans to expand – its most popular feature focus displays showcasing more than 1,000 non-electric vehicles throughout the 650,000 square feet of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Meantime, time is running out to purchase tickets at a big discount.

Available now at the AutoShow’s website,, tickets can be purchased for $18 – a saving of 25 per cent from the regular price of $24 – until Jan. 15th. After that, tickets will be available online at a 10 per cent saving until the show opens on Fri., Feb. 16, at the beginning of the three-day-long Family Day Weekend in Ontario.

The Canadian International AutoShow is Canada’s largest consumer show.

What sets it apart from other auto shows is the large number of special presentations that both inform and entertain. Among them:
– Auto Exotica: Lamborghinis, McLarens, Bugattis, Aston Martins and other magical marques will again form the basis of the most exotic and valuable collection of cars showcased anywhere in the country. A record $100m worth of exotics were on display in 2017 and 2018 is set to top that tally with additional aspirational brands scheduled to participate.

– Tuners: Tuner Battlegrounds, AutoShow edition, will see the most elite, tricked out, slammed to the ground and modified cars ever seen at the AutoShow. This online bracket-style fan-voted competition will be created and hosted by PASMAG giving Canada’s top Tuner enthusiasts a chance to show their stuff at the biggest automotive showcase in the country.

– Art and the Automobile: The ever-popular Art & the Automobile exhibit presented by the Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance will, for its fourth edition, feature rare cars seldom seen anywhere, with a focus on the brands and mascots that made the classics the icons they are today.

Additional details about these and other all-new exhibits for 2018 will be issued as show time approaches.
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About the Canadian International AutoShow
With more than 650,000 square feet of exhibits, displays and attractions at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the Canadian International AutoShow is not only the largest automotive expo in Canada, it is also the country’s largest consumer show — a leader in lifestyle, technology and all things automotive boasting more than 1,000 cars, trucks, SUVs, concept cars, exotics, classics, muscle cars, fully electric and autonomous vehicles. Nearly 340,000 attended the 2017 show.

Copyright © 2018 by Iain Shankland. All rights reserved.
Images: Iain Shankland