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The City of Santa Monica will present the 11th Annual AltCar Expo, the region’s premier transportation show dedicated to alternative fuel vehicles and alternative modes of transportation. The two-day event will be held at the Santa Monica Civic parking lot and East Wing, 1855 Main St., Sept. 16 – 17, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and is free to the public.

The goal of AltCar is to provide a very accessible and comprehensive setting where both industry and general public can discover existing alternatives to the way they use energy and transportation and motivate everyone to take further action. California leads the nation in alternative vehicles, incentives and fueling stations, with many states now following the state’s example and implementing programs similar to those in California.

AltCar brings almost every make and model of alternative fuel vehicle to one place so you can shop, test drive, compare and learn. The 2016 Expo will have the most extensive array of battery electric, fuel-cell electric, plug-in hybrid, hybrid electric, natural gas and propane vehicles for consumers.

Students at Santa Monica High School, part of “Team Marine,” will be showcasing “Volts Wattson,” a 1971 red convertible VW Super Beetle that they converted into an all-electric vehicle.  This will be the fourth year that Samohi students have participated in AltCar with their Electric Vehicle.  Since last year, some improvement were made to the electrical and mechanical systems thanks to financial support from Wells Fargo.

“Team Marine” is an environmental science teen action group dedicated to advancing sustainability and climate literacy.  There are currently 10 members, ages 14 to 17.  “We are currently looking for additional funds to make further mechanical improvements to Volts Wattson as well as continue community outreach at schools and events,” says Benjamin Kay, Samohi teacher and Team Marine advisor.

Besides Wells Fargo, other financial and/or technical assistance was provided by: the Poon-Fear family in Santa Monica who donated the car,  “Reverend Gadget”(Greg Abbott) at Left Coast EVs, Plug-In America, Trexa, Alliance for Climate Education, QuikSCience, TeenNick, Gas to Electric Conversions, and the City of Santa Monica.

Admission to AltCar Expo is free. To learn more visit

  • Submitted by Trina Kaye