This is a glamorous show with all of the cars shined up and properly placed, some with their engines glittering and in full view. The conventional vehicles are same old same old so the manufacturers show concept cars, fantastic designs that will never see the showroom floor. Finding the truly unusual automobiles is difficult however, often in the slow people traffic areas.
One such was the NEMO electric flatbed slow speed half-ton truck that is also a people mover, if necessary. It is manufactured, designed and fully licensed in Canada and aimed to be sold to municipal governments, and others. The truck has a range between recharges of 110 kilometers and goes up to 60 kilometers per hour. It only costs around $20,000.
"It has already been (fleet) sold to Montreal and New York City," said Kenneth Johnson, CEO. He added, "The truck makes no emissions and noise and is a mere fraction of the cost of gasoline to run and has virtually no maintenance costs."
The thought of having vehicles like this (and passenger versions) in the Baltic States would make the countries independent of the neighbour to the east since they can receive electric power from the new nuclear electric power plant at Ignalina in Lithuania (in use in its new form by 2012). This will stop the energy blackmail that goes on, when Russia cuts of the gasoline, every time something happens that displeases the "eastern behemoth".
Then there was the SEGWAY, the two wheeled balancing act that will go 35 kilometers on an electric charge. This device has not been authorized for use on city streets unless by Vancouver Police Service who prefer to use it on a walking beat.
Finally an automobile that is neither energy efficient or economically viable, the Mercedes-Benz/SLR McLaren Roadster two-seater convertible that rings in at $500,000. They asked me to leave when I just stood there and cried.
So much for this year's car show, it was fun like always, and it some good ideas like the NEMO.
The Toronto Autoshow (2008)