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Electric Cars Create A Buzz At San Diego Auto Show

— The doors opened to the San Diego International Auto Show Thursday morning at the San Diego Convention Center, and people came to see exotic cars, electric cars and muscle cars. Marc Harlow, a spokesman for the show, said they also came to see what’s new.

The San Diego International Auto Show opens at the convention center to show the latest industry technology.

Photo by Nicholas McVicker

Toyota product specialist Joyce Brew talks about the NS4, the car company's new "concept car."

“If anybody’s shopping for a new car, this is a great place to do it because we have over 400 2013 vehicles from every manufacturer on the planet inside that hall,” said Harlow.

The entire exhibition hall for the auto show had that new car smell. The sights included many cars that have created a buzz… an electric buzz. One was the new Chevy Spark, the company’s first all-electric vehicle.

The 2014 Sparks will be in showrooms this summer. A spokesman for GM said they’ll go about 80 miles on one charge.

Toyota was also at the auto show, showing off its plug-in Prius and another sedan that you won’t find at the dealer. This slightly sexier plug-in is called an NS4, and it’s a "concept car."

“A ‘concept’ is really introducing an idea,” said Joyce Brew, a Toyota product specialist. “And then when they bring it to events like this – auto shows across the country – they get feedback from consumers and see how viable it is to produce a vehicle like this.”

The San Diego auto show had a little more than just new models. There were the “Star Cars,” which have been featured in TV and movies. One was a Gotham City squad car from the Batman films. Baby boomers would recognize that old black-and-white used in the Adam-12 TV show.

And in one corner of the hall, there were some homemade electric cars. They were converted from gas to electric by San Diego hobbyists likes Bob Van Gorder.

“You take everything that’s gas out of it,” said Van Gorder, explaining how the conversion is done. “You keep the transmission in it. You buy an adapter plate. You put a motor to the transmission, then put the batteries in and go. It’s pretty simple.”

The San Diego International Auto Show runs through Sunday at the San Diego Convention Center.

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