Richmond, Calif.—Green Drive Expo, the Bay Area’s first consumer eco-car event, will bring test drives, expert panels and technology presentations to the Craneway Pavilion on Oct. 9 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Attendees will learn how to cut emissions and transportation costs through breakthrough solutions ranging from the latest alternative fuel vehicles by major manufacturers to high-mileage conversions by local mechanics.
The hands-on event will showcase hybrid, electric, ethanol, biodiesel, natural gas, hydrogen and other vehicles. Among the cutting edge cars to be offered for free public test drives are prototypes of Toyota’s Plug-In Prius, yet to arrive in showrooms, and exciting new technologies from Ford and Mitsubishi. Private owners are invited to show off their vehicles in the Owners Showcase, spotlighting everything from homebuilt cars to Tesla Roadsters.
The event’s panelists will include industry executives, grass roots advocates and nationally renowned experts. Attendees will learn where, when and how they can expect to purchase the hottest eco-friendly vehicles, the latest on consumer incentives for clean cars, and updates on alternative fuel technologies. Speakers will also address pressing climate legislation and the future of green vehicles.
“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.”
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?” Sexton is a consulting producer on the film’s follow up, “Revenge of the Electric Car,” slated for a 2011 release.
Green Drive Expo founder Eric Powers has staged a similar expo in Madison, Wisc., for five years. He saw a need to bring the event to the Bay Area, a national hotspot for green car activity. “The expo is a place where people can learn about and drive vehicles that are available right now,” Powers says.
Powers teamed up with Berkeley-based green car expert Brad Berman, founder of HybridCars.com and PluginCars.com, to organize Green Drive Expo-Bay Area. “For anybody interested in electric and hybrid cars, or other alternatives like bicycle commuting, this event is going to be very informative and a lot of fun,” Berman says.
Local exhibitors will include Luscious Garage, Pat’s Garage and 3 Prong Power, all of which convert hybrids to cleaner, higher-mileage plug-in electric hybrids. Other participants will include the Biofuel Oasis, a biodiesel co-op, Clean Cities East Bay and Hybrid Battery Repair.
San Francisco resident Marc Geller will be among local owners providing ride-and-drives. Geller’s only car has been a zero-emission Toyota RAV4 EV for nearly a decade. He is a co-founder of Plug In America, the nation’s leading plug-in vehicle advocacy organization, and president of the San Francisco Electric Auto Assn.
Geller will join others discussing real-life alternative fuel driving experiences during hourly “Talk to an Owner” sessions. Green Drive Expo is designed to give enthusiasts the opportunity to meet, greet and share nonstop shoptalk.
Tickets to Green Drive Expo-Bay Area are $10 for adults; no charge for youths 16 and under. For free passes and more information, visitwww.GreenDriveExpo.com. Craneway Pavilion is located at 1414 Harbour Way South, Richmond, CA 94804. Event parking is $5. Information: 510-621-7803.
Green Drive Expo-Bay Area sponsors include Toyota, Ford Motor Company, Mitsubishi, the City of Richmond, Clean Cities East Bay,plugincars.com, hybridcars.com, Plug In America, Enginer and Linear-Logic.