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Montréal Auto Show: Green Show

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Environment and efficiency are operative words at the 2008 Montreal International Auto Show (MIAS), particularly with the Green Zone and the On Route to a Greener Future segment, which displays all the eco-friendly technologies currently available or under development.

The biggest star is undoubtedly the Tesla, a small electric roadster from California which should hit the market in just a few months -- if all goes as planned. Expectations are high: 600 customers have already made a deposit to buy one and about 350 others have put their names on the waiting list.

Tesla Roadster

The beauty of this car lies in its Lotus-designed chassis. The Tesla is a high-performance machine achieving 0-100 accelerations in less than 4.2 seconds and a top speed of 220 kph. Plus, it's 100-percent electric.

The available range is about 300 kilometers and it takes a little over three hours to fully recharge the batteries from a household outlet. A portable charger also allows you to recharge the system on the go, but you'll have to be patient as the whole process may take up to eight hours.

How much is it? $98,000. Unfortunately, the Tesla has not been cleared to cross the Canadian border yet.

The On Route to a Greener Future exhibit offers many interesting alternatives, from the current selection of hybrids to the new clean diesel engines, like that of a new MINI which has yet to be sold over here.

The Centre d'expérimentation en véhicules électriques du Québec (CEVEQ) is mainly responsible for this part of the MIAS.

And let's not forget about Hydro Quebec's new Cleanova. Developed with Dassault, this electric car is now in its third generation.

Hydro-Québec Cleanova