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The University of Victoria EcoCAR team held its first vehicle showcase of the year at the Vancouver Central Library. The showcase gave the public a unique opportunity to learn about the cutting-edge technologies the EcoCAR team is using to build its hybrid vehicle as well as the tremendous benefits next-generation vehicles and green technology can bring to consumers and the environment.

The team rented two spaces on the inner promenade of the library for the event. The students set up a booth that included the UVic EcoCAR, monitors displaying videos and tools used for virtual testing, and posters showing the different components of the car. The team also handed out brochures and vehicle spec cards.

Approximately 5,000 people walked through the inside promenade of the library during the event, and the team was able to benefit from the foot traffic. Enthusiastic passer-bys of all ages stopped at the booth to see the car and ask questions. The two most common questions included:

–          Why should we choose hybrid technology?

–          What makes next generation hybrid technology different from standard hybrid technology?

Overall, the students received very positive feedback from their audience. The people of Vancouver were really enthusiastic about a competition that encourages the development of next generation vehicles.

In the morning, the UVic students also had the chance to visit with Paul Connors, Deputy Director and Trade Commissioner, Vancouver Regional Office, and Eric H. Barker, Senior Advisor, Clean Energies, Pacific Region. Both were excited about the EcoCAR initiative and offered the UVic students any assistance they could provide.

The University of Victoria EcoCAR team was thrilled that the 2010 Olympics were held in their country, in Vancouver, Canada.  The UVic EcoCAR team joined the celebrations in Victoria by participating in Livingcolours, a three-day festival hosted by the City of Victoria. Despite the grey weather, there was an excellent turnout and the community came together to celebrate their Olympic spirit.

Following the example that the Vancouver Winter Olympics have set by attempting to be the greenest games yet, the UVic team used Livingcolours as an opportunity to speak with the public about advanced vehicle technologies. To garner interest, the UVic team set up a mini-Olympic event of PlasmaCar races, toy cars that are powered by using the natural forces of inertia, centrifugal force, gravity, and friction, which attracted both kids and adults alike. Using these fun, simplified cars, the UVic team was able to demonstrate how it is possible to use clean renewable energy resources, such as electricity in UVic’s own plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, to help power cars in a more efficient and eco-friendly way.

Check out UVic’s video that captures a few race highlights and the atmosphere of the day at Livingcolours which took place in Centennial Square in downtown Victoria.

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