When AltCar started in Santa Monica in 2005, alternative fuel vehicles seemed like a fading dream. This was a time when bigger was better. Big SUVs were making big money for automakers and you could get a $6,000 IRS tax rebate for purchasing one. The Honda natural gas Civic was the only alternative fuel vehicle offered by any automaker. There were very few natural gas conversions available, the only hybrids were the Prius, Insight and Escape and the major automakers had reduced or entirely dismantled their alternative fuel and electric vehicle programs.
There are now more choices than ever before, but the goal of AltCar is the same. 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. There are little decisions that we each make every day that, added together, will make a big impact overall. Turn off a light, walk or ride a bike to the movies, consolidate trips, take mass transit to a conference or business meeting.
Over the years, AltCar has gained National respect and hosted the National Debut of the Chevy Volt, the National Reveal of the Ford 150 CNG, the Global Debut of the Honda Plug In, the kick off of the Nisan LEAF and Toyota RAV EV Tours as well as many other fleet and public vehicle and infrastructure debuts. Our speakers sessions have featured the top decision makes in Federal and State agencies as well as the Directors of alternative technologies for all of the OEMs. Key to AltCar as well are the smaller alternative manufacturers and cutting edge emerging products and technologies.
This year's AltCar events that are taking place in Santa Monica, Oakland and Sacramento, will showcase the latest and greatest offerings from major automakers as well as other businesses large, medium and small. Battery electric vehicles are now available for sale from almost every vehicle manufacturer. There are dozens of gasoline-electric hybrid models available in California and some come with a plug to further reduce their gas consumption. Fuel cell electric vehicles are more available and more affordable. Natural gas is rapidly expanding its presence in fleet applications and some are available to consumers. Biodiesel and ethanol are now frequently blended into diesel and gasoline sold in California and many other states.
AltCar offers the largest collection of these various vehicles and technologies in one place. Most of them are available to drive and many of them can be purchased during the Expo.
There are also many other issues associated with our energy and transportation choices, so AltCar includes exhibitors and education on urban planning, mass transit, energy generation & use, policy & regulations, telecommuting, sustainable lifestyle choices, reducing your carbon footprint, electric vehicle infrastructure, alternative fuel technology implementation and more.