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AltCar Expo features myriad of alternative fuel vehicles

Thursday, August 21, 2008 - 00:00
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AltCar Expo 2008 is expected to include one of the nation’s largest displays of alternative fuel vehicles and feature the first production Tesla Roadster.

The free, two-day expo will be held for the third consecutive year in Santa Monica, Calif. — where 10,000 attendees typically flock — on Sept. 26 -27, and for the first time, in Austin, Texas on Oct. 17 and 18.

Both cities will showcase more than 100 alt-fuel and ultra-efficient vehicles, including zero-emission electric cars, hybrids, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles rated in excess of 100 miles per gallon, and those running on hydrogen fuel cells, natural gas, propane, biodiesel and ethanol.

Scooters, Segways, electric motorcycles and bicycles also will be on hand. Low-speed and freeway-capable vehicles will be available for public “ride-and-drives” and for immediate purchase.

In Santa Monica, Tesla Motors, whose all-electric sports car has generated more buzz than any other green vehicle, will display the first car off its production line. This “P1,” as it is known, belongs to Tesla CEO Elon Musk and will be a key focus of filmmakers attending AltCar to shoot “Revenge of the Electric Car,” the much anticipated sequel to “Who Killed the Electric Car?”

AltCar Expo is known for its uncommon mix of vehicles by major auto manufacturers and smaller companies. Its seminar speakers, addressing the latest global transportation and energy trends, will include industry executives, grass roots advocates and nationally recognized experts in public policy, mass transit, sustainability, engineering and automotive technology.

Attendees will learn when they can expect to purchase the hottest eco-friendly vehicles in development and about mass transit options, charging infrastructure, new battery technologies, maximizing gas mileage and other issues.

Central to both expos’ purpose is to give consumers the chance to test drive alt-fuel cars, many of which will be for sale on site, and find out about earning tax credits by going green.

“Consumers have never been blessed — and cursed — with so many transportation options, and the choices they make will dramatically impact the quality of the air we breathe,” says Santa Monica AltCar’s keynote speaker Terry Tamminen, former secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency. “AltCar Expo provides an unmatched opportunity to learn about today’s most responsible and economical transportation choices.”

Special activities at both events include screenings of new segments from “e2 energy,” the critically acclaimed PBS series about solutions to environmental and social challenges. A Technology Debate, which pits proponents of various alt-fuel technologies, will include UC Davis professor Andy Frank, father of the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. The panel, “A Tale of Three Cities,” will examine how Santa Monica, Austin and Portland have reduced traffic congestion and increased the availability of cleaner energy and greener transport.

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