Hybrid Preview at Ottawa Gatineau International Autoshow 2012

I was fortunate enough to be invited have a friend who got me invited to the Ford Ottawa Ladies Night event at the auto show. So last night, I mingled with some of my favorite Ottawa bloggers, listened to Ford talk about their line of hybrids and electric cars, and hit the show floor to drool over the cars.

#FordOttawa Ladies' Night

The Ford reception was very nice, thoughtfully non-alcoholic given the subject matter, and the presentation was long-ish but interesting.

For the record, I'm not sure that our presenter was used to presenting to bloggers, what with our general lack of eye contact and constant phone handling (hey, they did ask us to tweet the event). The pitch was well received by the folks in the room even though you could tell that there were a few of us who are unconvinced about hybrid for a variety of reasons:
  • unsure if the tech is that much cleaner from a manufacturing and waste perspective,
  • unsure whether the increased cost of the hybrids and the energy required to recharge them offsets the restrained use of gasoline, 
  • the persistent lack of plugs/infrastructure to keep cars charged all over town (or the country for that matter),
  • the cost and lack of availability of inductive charging
  • the low distance per charge in a country as vast and widely distributed as Canada. 
As much as I love green tech, I'm not sure we're ready for hybrids yet. Had the industry not killed the electric car back in the early '00s, we might be a lot more further along in implementing this tech. But for a variety of reasons (insert conspiracy theory here), I'm not sure we'll be there for some time.

You can check out the tweets from the event by searching #fordOttawa.

Impressions of the auto show

Overall, I thought the show was pretty good. It's definitely not on par with shows from larger cities, and especially not near the same calibre of some of the big car-producing towns. But it's in the swanky new convention centre and it's got a good range of car makes and models. Lots of talk of fuel efficiency and hybrids among the various manufacturers, which is in line with the trend over the past few years.

However, I wanted to see concepts. I even joked that my motto was: "nothing that is street legal." Buuuut if I'd stuck to it, I wouldn't have seen anything at all. Not a single concept car. #sadPanda

And then there was this. Among all of the shiny newness of the 2012's and 2013's there was the international room where we came upon this stunner:
From the side it looked like the frickin' Batmobile! 
We stayed for a few minutes and drooled over the funky street legal Batmobine-inspired Lotus. A little out of our price ranges but definitely one of the funkiest cars of the show. Spoiler: Probably the funkiest. If you head over to the show, it's definitely worth a look. 

Verdict

So there you have it: the auto show is not going to bring you the future, but it can bring you what's going to be in for the next couple of years. It's definitely eye candy for the car lover (or parent of a young car-loving child). If you've never been, it can be a lot of fun. The Dude enjoyed it when he was younger but given that we've been to a couple of auto shows in the past few years, I think the fam will be skipping this year's show.

Info: Ottawa Gatineau International Autoshow 2012 (runs til March 25)