With recent news of the planet having 12 years(!) to reduce carbon emissions before we’re at a point of no return, residents in our progressive city may be looking into how to reduce their carbon footprint. An event this weekend might help with that.

AltCar Expo returns to Santa Monica this October 12 – 13, debuting alternative fuel vehicles that can be viewed and in some cases, tested. Cars, bikes, trucks and scooters will all be on hand from manufacturers such as Audi, Honda, Nissan, Tesla and more. Additionally, the event will host panels with industry experts discussing urban planning, mass transit, energy generation, sustainable lifestyle choices, electric vehicle infrastructure and more.

“Santa Monica has played such an important role in providing this resource to our community,” Councilmember Terry O’Day said. “Not only when the event was in its infancy, but when this tech was, too. This was hard. Santa Monica held strong and pushed forward with this event. I think [the event] has had a very meaningful role in the adoption of advanced tech in mobility in LA.”

O’Day, who also serves as AltCar Representative and Market Developer for EVgo (an electronic vehicle charging station company) has been a champion of sustainability and alternative fuels for years. He says the event will have tech that is “required today to avert the most catastrophic changes in climate change.”

One such alternative fuel vehicles that will debut at the event is a small, one-person vehicle from Electrica Meccanica dubbed the SOLO.

The vehicle is a strangely executed concept, appearing as if someone cut a sports car in half and placed the front end on three wheels. It won’t win a beauty contest anytime soon, but the company says the importance of the vehicle isn’t about what’s on the outside, it’s what isn’t on the inside that counts.

“To quote our CEO, he says we’re helping to close the last gas station someday,” Sean Mahoney of Electrica Meccanica said. “We need to wean ourselves off fossil fuels or at least use them more efficiently. [SOLO] is tiny and weird looking, but it gets 100 miles per charge. You’re in a car alone on most commutes anyway, so why not?”

Besides personal vehicles, AltCar Expo will showcase autonomous vehicles that may soon deliver packages to consumers as well as large fleet vehicles, not unlike that of the soon-to-be all-electric Big Blue Bus. O’Day says attendees and the City can glean a lot from an event like this.

“This is an opportunity to experience every type of advanced vehicle on the road today,” he said. “I mean every type of fuel: hybrid, electric, fuel cell, you name it. This is wide open to the community, for free. It’s an exciting opportunity to learn from these vehicles and experts and improve our city.”

The AltCar Expo is October 12 -13 at the Santa Monica Civic Lot, 1855 Main Street. For more info, visit altcarexposocal.com. The Expo and Ride/Drive exhibits are free Friday and Saturday. Tickets for the Industry/Fleet Conference are $65.


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