THE future shape of Hongkong will be revealed in a $100 million exhibition this year. Electric cars, a 21st century home and a model of how Hongkong will fit in with the rest of the region are all planned for the five-day Expo 2001. The event will harness the expertise of many alumni of Hongkong University and will be the climax of the university's 80th anniversary celebrations. But organisers hope to reach a much broader cross-section of people than the entrepreneurs and academics whose knowledge and innovations are to be revealed at the show. Expo programme director Ms Bernadette Tsui Wing-suen said: ''This is our pledge to the future and we want to get as much of the public involved as possible. ''It is an event which shows what Hongkong will and could be like in the year 2001, regardless of the Sino-British impasse. ''Too many people concentrate on that as if everything will grind to a halt if it isn't resolved. ''We should remember Hongkong's forte - it is a strong and dynamic place and that will continue after 1997. There will be change, but it won't necessarily be for the worse.'' Up to 250,000 people are expected to visit the show to be held in November at the Hongkong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The 5,000 square metre hall with exhibits from the university, the Government and businesses, will be split into six areas covering health, transport, science and technology, infotainment, environment and the ''megalopolis''. Ms Tsui said: ''The megalopolis exhibit will show how Hongkong will be linked with the rest of the region in terms of trade and infrastructure and so on. ''We hope to have a model of the region so people can see how things will be, how in 2001 you might live in Shenzhen but be able to get to work in Central in half-an-hour - no such model yet exists.'' As well as buying up exhibition space, companies are understood to be spending much time and effort developing their wares for the exhibition. ''This is much more than a public relations exercise for everyone concerned,'' Ms Tsui said. ''Everyone is putting in so much and really thinking about the future. It's good for all concerned.'' Government departments such as the police and marine divisions, together with the Environmental Protection Department and planning and highways sections, will be showing what they are doing now and what they have in store for the future, perhaps including projects which will straddle the handover to China. Companies from across the border, including the China Overseas Company and Guangdong Holdings, are taking the opportunity to reveal their visions of life in 2001. Shun Hing Electronic - the Hongkong distributors for National Panasonic - is considering building a mock-up of a home or an office and equipping it with 21st century gadgets while university staff hope to be on the way to developing a long-life battery for an electric car, which will be vital if drivers are to be persuaded to give up their petrol-guzzling machines.