By Andrew McCredie
The promise of hydrogen-powered vehicles has been around for decades, and Toyota’s Mirai is the closest we’ve come to a mass-produced model. The promise of hydrogen-powered vehicles has been around for decades, and Toyota’s Mirai is the closest we’ve come to a mass-produced model.
Over the past few years, the Vancouver auto show has carved out a green niche for itself. From offering showgoers Ride-n-Drives in the newest electrified models, to manufacturers bringing their latest super-efficient offerings to the West Coast, the show has become a technological showcase for green machines.
It’s also the show the Automotive Journalists of Canada (AJAC) announce their Green Car of the Year Award winner at annually.
Here are five worth checking out at this year’s show.
2017 Toyota Mirai Hydrogen Fuel Cell
It’s been nearly two decades since the promise of hydrogen cars has been dangled in front of a eager public, but apart from some very tentative toe-tips by automakers in the hydrogen pool, there has been no such thing as a ‘mass-marketed’ hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. Toyota is looking to change that with the Mirai, a vehicle that bears some resemblance to the automaker’s Prius, but runs solely on hydrogen and emits just water vapour. Granted, there’s still only one place for the public to fill it in Metro Vancouver, but hey, its got to start somewhere.
2017 Hyundai Ioniq EV and PHEV
While this new model lineup from the Korean automaker doesn’t re-invent propulsion like the Mirai, it does mark a first. Essentially, its one vehicle with the choice of three distinct and unique powerplants: full electric, plug-in electric and hybrid. The EV and PHEV will be in Vancouver, and though its tough to tell them apart from the outside — and even from inside the cabin — the Ioniq represents an interesting new trend in green vehicles.
2017 VW eGolf
This all-electric commuter has been on sale in Germany for more than three years, and finally goes on sale here in B.C. this year. The first EV sold by VW in Canada, the 134-horsepower eGolf has a full-charge range of 201 kilometres, and unlike many EVs on the market, does not scream ‘look at me, I’m an electric vehicle!’
2017 Mini Countryman PHEV
Remember the Mini E? Didn’t think so. That short-lived 2010 model was the British marque’s first and only attempt at electrification — until this year. The major redesign of the Countryman for 2017 — making it by far the largest Mini ever — includes a plug-in hybrid powertrain option. It’s official designation is Cooper S E Countryman All4, and boasts a combined output of 221 ponies and an all-electric range of about 15 kilometres up to 123 km/h.
2017 Cadillac CT6 PHEV
You know the electrification craze has gone mainstream when this staid brand plugs in. The CT6 plug-In comes with a 2.0-litre, turbocharged 4-cylinder gasoline engine working with two electric motor powered by an 18.4 kWh Lithium Ion battery. Combined output is in the 335-hp range. On electric power only, the rear-wheel drive Caddy is capable of covering approximately 48 kilometres.
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