This year's Ottawa Gatineau International Auto Show will be 100-percent virtual, and it seems only appropriate that with this high-tech virtual exhibition, the world's most sophisticated electric vehicles will also be featured in record numbers. When we say electric vehicles we mean fully electric as well as Plug-In-Hybrid-Electric-Vehicles. ( PHEV ).

"It's a reflection of changes in the automotive marketplace," said Auto Show organizer Peter Ginsberg. "More major automakers are now manufacturing electric vehicles and hybrids than ever. It's an exciting time".

TESLA is the darling of the media worldwide, but the truth is all auto companies are now on the electric vehicle bandwagon. Companies like Kia, Hyundai, and Nissan with the Leaf, and General Motors with the VOLT, have been in the game since the earliest days, and now even luxury brands like BMW, AUDI, Jaguar, Land Rover, and LEXUS are in the game too. Ford is all in too, with all electric high performance offerings like the Mustang Mach-E. Indeed the list of electic vehicle choices is far too long to list here. Just know that we will be seeing a record number of electric vehicles featured over the next year as part of the AUTOS-360 virtual exhibit, as presented by the Ottawa Gatineau International Auto Show.

"We will no doubt also see a record number of electric vehicles on display at the next physical auto show in Ottawa-Gatineau in 2022", said Peter Ginsberg. "Everything depends on the situation with COVID protocols at that time of course, but we are hopeful and confident that we will be in a position to present vehicles at a physical auto show again next March".

Nissan actually established itself as a leader in the electric vehicle market with the best selling electric car in the world, which is the Leaf. General motors has take a giant leap forward with the new BOLT all electric vehicle, and other main stream companies are also now into electric vehicles in a major way. In fact General Motors, BMW, and other companies have made it clear they see an all electric future, and Volkswagen executives have announced plans for a major electric vehicle offensive with their objective being the production of one million electric vehicles world-wide by 2025. 

The electric vehicle wave is building in large part because of government incentives to both manufacturers and consumers. Critics of electric cars point out that only 3% or less of the cars on the road are currently electric and point to shortcomings in technology as evidence that gasoline powered cars will be with us for a long time to come. However the government programs which also include charging stations in some places in Ontario where electricity is "free" are generating a wave of demand for electric vehicles, and government grants and tax incentives for electric vehicle programs in Canada and abroad have resulted in a big expansion in the selection of electric vehicles now being offered to consumers.

The technology is improving at a rapid rate as well. Just a few years ago manufacturers were struggling to produce affordable electric cars with a range approaching 100 kilometers. This year you will see many electric cars that are capable of travelling 400-kilometers or more, on a single charge, and even with that kind of range the vehicles are in the "affordable" range and are even more attractive to consumers in some cases because of those government incentives to buy. Incentives and rebates vary by province.

Fast charging technology has also improved dramatically over the past few years. Reducing charging time is a major leap forward and helps ease range anxiety for consumers who have been reluctant to embrace an electric vehicle future.

Electrics offer a wide range of benefits including instant power and torque. Electric cars generally accelerate much faster than gasoline powered cars. In Ontario where a large percentage of electricity for the power grid comes from hydro-electric generation, and nuclear power officials with "Plug N Drive" the group that is charged with the task of promoting electric vehicles, say choosing to go with an all electric car, can reduce a driver's carbon footprint by as much as 90-percent.

There is obviously still a long way to go before electric vehicles are fully accepted by the motoring public, but governments worldwise are pushing hard to promote public acceptance. There is no question the electric-vehicle segment has take a huge leap forward over the past year alone. There will much more to see, hear, and talk about as the AUTO-360 Virtual Auto Show unfolds over the next year through the online platform that has been developed by the Ottawa Gatienau International Auto Show. Stay tuned for a lot more!