Electric vehicles featured when San Diego Auto Show kicks off Thursday

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SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego International Auto Show opened Thursday for a five-day run at the San Diego Convention Center with EV Day, showcasing electric vehicles.

Various types of electric vehicles are on display, and experts from the California Center for Sustainable Energy can provide information on owning that type of car. The day's activities are sponsored by San Diego Gas & Electric.

"(Attendees) will see that there are cars that are actually affordable and have much longer ranges than they used to have," said Helen Gao of SDG&E. "You can drive a few hundred miles on a single charge -- that means you can go places, you don't have to worry about having fuel to go."

According to the utility, around 22,000 EVs are being driven on San Diego roadways, making the area one of the highest per-capita EV markets.

The Chevrolet Bolt and Volt, Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, Kia Soul EV and Optima Hybrid, and Nissan Leaf are among the EVs on display.

Overall, more than 400 vehicles from over 30 manufacturers are being showcased at the event -- some of them just-released models, or types not yet in showrooms.

According to show organizers, models making their debut include the 2018 Jeep Wrangler SUV, 2018 Nissan Kicks compact, the futuristic Toyota FV2 concept car and 2019 Lincoln MKC luxury compact.

Thirteen manufacturers are offering test drives, according to Kevin Leap, the show's director.

"The test drive is the single most effective tool we have to educate our audience," Leap said. "Product specialists engage consumers as they experience the features and drivability of the cars without sales pressure, giving them a true appreciation for the vehicles and a first-hand experience."

The auto show opens daily at 10 a.m.

Tickets are $15 for attendees over the age of 12. For seniors 62 and over and military with identification, entry will cost $12. Tickets for children ages 7-12 are $11, except for Sunday, when they're free when accompanied by a paying adult. Children 6 and under are free all five days.

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