To kick-off the New Year, the Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team of Virginia Tech (HEVT) participated in the 2012 Hampton Roads International Auto Show and helped celebrate the 100th year of the event.
Hosted by the Hampton Roads Automobile Dealers Association (HRADA), the show was held at the Virginia Beach Convention Center in early January. HEVT was among the exhibitors featured in the front lobby display area. As a LEED Gold certified building, the convention center offered preferred parking for eco-friendly vehicles, which was something the team members thought was great!
“We consistently strive to make sure that our show is relevant to the consumer and our lobby display is a key component in our ability to show trends in the automotive industry,” said HRADA Events Producer and Show Director Peter Alexander. “I’ve been associated with the show for over twenty years now and there is a definite transition to lean and green.”
The auto show gave HEVT a chance to reach out to a new audience. “There were so many Virginia Tech alums who were proud to see Virginia Tech participating in an advanced vehicle technology competition such as EcoCAR 2,” said team leader Jon King. Many attendees had previous knowledge of HEVT and AVT competitions. Aside from Tech fans, attendees with general interest in sustainable vehicles also visited the HEVT table.
Lead Outreach Coordinator Rommelyn Conde spoke with an alumnus who recalled being introduced to electric vehicles in the 1970s. “While living in Blacksburg, he and his wife remember a local dealership on Main Street which sold ‘Elcars,’ a popular electric car produced by the Elcar Corporation,” Rommelyn said. “Comparing the ‘Elcar’ to the Chevy EcoCAR, he commented on how far technology has come.”
Sarah Kilbourne, an outreach coordinator for HEVT, took the opportunity to participate in GM’s Ride and Drive booth. She had the choice of test-driving a Chevrolet, Buick or GMC vehicle. “I drove the Volt and found it amazingly smooth,” said Sarah. “There was a constant line to drive the Volt since it was in such high demand.” That comes as no surprise, since the Volt was just voted the “Most Earth-Friendly” vehicle at the Detroit Auto Show!
Peter Alexander added, “HEVT’s interaction with the public and ability to provide information and education about how the industry is evolving provides relevance for the show and helps us to keep the consumers coming back year after year.”
HEVT certainly enjoyed being a part of the 100th anniversary of the Hampton Roads International Auto Show. The team extends its thanks to the event organizers and HRADA for a great weekend!