Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By David Ganezer
Observer Staff Writer 

Alt Car Expo to Rock the Socket! An interview with the woman behind the Alt Car Expo

So if what you want is an alt vehicle, alt cart is a more satisfying experience.

 

October 12, 2018

Boasting the largest collection of hydrogen, electric and hybrid vehicles in the region, the 13th Annual City of Santa Monica AltCar Expo will return to Santa Monica on October 12-13, 2018 with brand new vehicles, speakers, and exhibitors to showcase the newest innovations of the alternative technology industry. This two-day event is free to attend and brings together in one place a variety of brands, technologies, and manufacturers specializing in alternative technology. An array of NEW vehicles will debut at the 2018 AltCar Expo including SOLO, Electra Mechannica's new single-passenger EV.-press release.

Christine Dzilvelis is the organizer of the Alt Car Expo.  We sat down with her (fine, we spoke to her by phone) and asked her how the Alt Car Expo became such a big event.

"It actually started off big.  There was something ready to burst 13 years ago.

"Back then, the only electric vehicle other than a golf cart was a Honda GX, and everything else was conversion and kind of small manufacturers," said Dzilvelis.

"Now there's almost no conversion, few small manufacturers, and all the OEM have multiple products," said Dzilvelis.

Many are claiming their cessation of making gas vehicles.  

My favorite vehicle?  I just wouldn't miss any of them, we make it so easy to test drive all these vehicles

It's with specialists not dealers.  The auto shows are usually expensive to get into.  Other events don't have hydrogen vehicles, this is the only place in the US that you can find whats on the market with all these vehicles

Right now it's almost free to lease an electric vehicle.  Now I just want to see everything so I can make a decision

Also the Center for Sustainable Energy is there.  There also be information for all these

We make it so easy to very quickly test drive everything, so you have the breadth of knowledge to make a decision

Because it's still unfortunately the case, that if you go to a dealer, they will try to sell you a different vehicle, not an alternative technology vehicle

--

The theme of this year's Alt Car Expo is no turning back, where we're coming fron where we're headed, the infrastructure is coming in so quickly, that it's mind boggling.

More and more electric technology infrastructure is being laid down in the state, ten times faster than a year ago

Just like Gas stations, there will be a proliferation of fast charging stations, so you'll be able to drive to San Francisco.

Are all of the vehicles safe?  They have to be, they're crash tested. 

For example, the Smart EV a few years ago had a stripped down model that showed the cage.  Do your homework and look at the Nitsa testing, which is required.

I think to that Santa Monica is moving away from light duty vehicles, from cars.  That's the push in Santa Monica, to really go to personal mobility.  So there will be less and less cars on the street and that will change the safety equation as well.

spite any federal challenges, alt energy challenges are going full fledge forward.  I think most people don't realize how quickly this technology is coming in.  Unbeknownst to most people, this is on the brink of being the way we drive.

Phil Colberneck is in Alameda county, their fleet is going to all electric.  They're switching out all their infrastructure now

There's a real message:  The shift is coming, it's here all ready.  Europe is proclaiming county by country that they're going off petroleum and into electric.  And that's the message: Just how far technology has come and how much everyone relies on these things.

Dzilvelis was born in Santa Monica and raised in Encino. She was a biology major at UCLA, class of1982.

"I've been concerned about the environment since I was in pre-school, I have been an avid conservationist for decades.  Every year becomes more crucial"

The 13th Annual AltCar Expo in Santa Monica is a family-friendly, free event from 10am – 5pm on October 12-13 at the Santa Monica Civic Center, 1855 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401. Parking for Friday is $14 per day at both indoor and outdoor Civic Center Lot. Saturday parking is $5 per day at both indoor and outdoor Civic Center Lot. For additional information or to register for the conference visit http://www.altcarexposocal.com or call 310-390-2930.

 

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