Every major global automaker, without exception, is making a shift to hybrids, electric cars, and alternative fuels. Not because it was their idea. They were forced in that direction by a growing group of passionate consumers fed up with the status quo of petroleum dependence. When carmakers didn’t move fast enough, these consumer-activists converted their cars to run on batteries or alternative fuels.
Green Drive Expo, the Bay Area’s first consumer eco-car expo, will provide an unprecedented opportunity for owners of unique green car creations to show off their work and express their desire for change. The event will take place at the waterfront Craneway Pavilion in Richmond—a renovated 1931 Ford Motor Company assembly plant, sporting a 1-megawatt solar array and stunning views of the San Francisco skyline.
The event will take place on Oct. 9 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 at the door, or you can register for free admission by using this discount code: HYBRIDCARS on this page:
Attendees will be offered free public test drives of prototypes of Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid and other hybrid and electric cars. Ford, Mitsubishi, Nissan, and Think will display their latest green vehicles. Auto company representatives will be on hand to discuss future products. But in many ways, the most exciting part of the show will be owners showing off their vehicles and discussing the issues with one another.
Drivers of electric cars, such as the Tesla Roadster, Mini E, and Toyota Rav4 EV will participate in a “Talk to an Owner Session.” Companies that offer conversions of hybrids and internal combustion cars into plug-in vehicles will discuss the process. There will be a workshop to explain how Bay Area consumers can take advantage of rebates and tax credits for buying plug-in cars and home charging stations.
Exercise Your Power
“Americans spend a lot of time complaining about our ‘addiction’ to oil,’” says Oakland-based author Lisa Margonelli, author of “Oil on the Brain” and director of the Energy
Policy Initiative at the New America Foundation. “However, the next two years are a
frighteningly important time. It’s up to us to exercise our enormous power—as both
consumers and voters—to change our relationship to oil and carbon, and ensure that our
economy remains competitive.” At Green Drive Expo, Margonelli will take part in an on-stage discussion about petroleum, politics and electric cars with Chelsea Sexton, a key figure in the 2006 documentary, “Who Killed the Electric Car?”
The Green Drive Expo event started in Madison, Wisc. five years ago. This will be the first year for the Bay Area event, which is expected to draw 5,000 attendees—making it the biggest event of its kind in the United States.
Calling All Cars
At this year’s Madison event, which took place in July, David Taylor won the “MPG Challenge,” racking up an unbelievable 763 miles to the gallon in his 2008 Toyota Prius, modified to run on a home-grown 10 kWh lithium ion battery pack. Taylor drove 18 hours from his home in Sanford, N.C., to Madison to attend the event and show off his car. “We wanted to show the car at the Green Drive Expo, because it’s the Mecca for people interested in this type of vehicle and technology,” Taylor told HybridCars.com. “It’s really nice to see so many people really pushing this technology, and wanting to know what’s coming next.”
A winner of “Best of Show” at the Madison event, Jay Groh of Wheelersburg, Ohio, has been to the event four years in a row. Groh has made almost 40 modifications to his 2006 Toyota Prius. Adding extra batteries improved the mileage during his 22-mile round-trip daily commute from 60 mpg to nearly 600 miles per gallon. He also added custom wheel covers, an anytime front and rear camera, and an onboard computer system allowing rolling wi-fi web connection.
Groh especially enjoyed the opportunity to ride in a Tesla Roadster at the event. “It was pure acceleration. It pushed me all the way back in my seat,” Groh said. “I think Green Drive Expo is a great event for everyone, because you get to see old technology, new technology, and future technology. It’s all there.”
To show off your green car at Green Drive Expo, sign up for a “membership” here:
This reserves your space in the “Ownership Showcase,” makes you eligible for an award, and gives you an event t-shirt, a window cling, and access to other exclusive events.