Cars without people behind the wheel take over Brant Street - more than 80 people test electric cars.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

July 9th, 2016



It was the second downtown car show for Ron Baker – and it turned out to be better than the first held last year.

There were more cars registered – 150 this year. The streets were just as crowded and there appeared to be a lot of entries that weren’t seen last year.

Street scene

The cars took over Brant street – they were there for people to look at and talk about.

At a city council meting sometime ago Councillor Taylor once said that the city would be a more vibrant place is Brant Street were converted to just pedestrians – it was just people walking wherever they wanted Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm – as vibrant as we’ve seen it and the merchants were doing just fine.

Car show - boys looking

The boys liked the look of the inside of this one.

Baker has attached a name to the event: Past, present and future – the future being the electric cars that people could take for a test drive. There wasn’t a final count but they were at the 50 + level when we left for the day.

Burlington Greens Amy Schnarr had hoped to take one of the electric cars for a spin – they drove to city hall on their bikes and realized they didn’t have their driver’s licenses. Amy did say that she had her credit card with her but got that look from her husband – so they weren’t buying.

Car show - yellow hot rod

A hot rod getting a careful once over from a passer-by.

Carshow Blue car

An oldy but a goldy – getting a closer look while fond memories take over.

Car show - police car

Burlington once had a police car that looked something like this.

Car show - model T

It was the Ford model T that started it all.

There were no cars for sale – the occasion was to look at what was being offered in the way of electric cars that are referred to as EV’s
The crowds around the electric cars were the kind of thing car dealership sales people die for – and the crowds were certainly in that tire kicking mood.

People were at that stage where they were making decisions and looking at different models.

Car show - cream coloured with trunk

Luxury defined – if you owned one of these you were definitely wealthy.

City councillor John Taylor had the use of a Mercedes Benz electric i3 for a week and he was delighted. He drove out to have dinner with his son in the electric car, the experience John had was not the experience his wife Kathy had during the drive. “She was having range anxiety.” But later in the day Taylor was seen taking a test drive in a different electric car. It will be interesting to see what Taylor does next.

There were 80 test drives done in a variety of electric vehicles (including the Mitsubishi iMiEV and Outlander PHEV, Nissan Leaf, Ford C-Max Energi, Fusion Energi, Focus EV, Chevy Volt and BMW i3).

Not one accident.

There were additional rides offered by Eco-Limo in a Tesla Model S!

The people who are deeply involved in this change of automotive technology we are going through can see and understand how the public is coming around. Dan Guatto at Burlington Hydro has the task of ensuring that Burlington Hydro has the infrastructure that is going to be needed in place so that those electric cards can have their batteries charged.

Car show - Locust street

Locust Street lined with electric cars.

Some of the automotive people selling internal combustion engines appear to be hanging on to their old business model which is getting less sustainable by the month.

Baker mentioned a number of corporate groups that are now loaning their cars for demonstration drives. “We are not at the tipping point yet” said Baker. Quaddro agreed adding that everyone who is now under 40 will be driving an electric car in the not too distant future.

The range of the electric cars is getting better and better.

Car show - couple in car

She likes it – he wants it.

For those short trips around town – an EV is the best choice one can make added Baker. For those few occasions when a really long drive is being taken – the bigger cars are the answer. How many long drives does the average family take? Not enough to justify that big eight cylinder engine.

Car show - Ron Baker

Ron Baker – organized the event along with the Lions Club.

Baker has plans to grow the Car show – next year he hopes to have a section that will include EV trucks. Seeing the vehicles on the street is a large part of the shift from the internal combustion engine to the close to soundless electric car. What the public needs to know is how they can be assured that there will always be a place where they can charge their car.

Burlington Hydro has a large education project ahead of them. Might we see that next year?

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1 comment to Cars without people behind the wheel take over Brant Street – more than 80 people test electric cars.

  • Monte

    Range anxiety is over rated.
    Don’t know the numbers but for most trips it is not an issue.

    One can only imagine the range anxiety they had in the 20’s, but then they perhaps had to plan their long trips more.

    The infrastructure is developing faster than most realize, just as fuel dispensers developed.