AltCar Expo 2013, how far electric cars have come

AltCar Expo
AltCar Expo
Santa Ron Breach and Paul Scott

It’s hard to imagine that six years ago only local entrepreneurs and visionaries flocked to the budding Santa Monica AltCar Expo.  Today, mainstream carmakers show their electric cars, natural gas vehicles, and once more, we can witness another push for the hydrogen fuel cell.

GenZe Inline Electric Shuttle

A new player in the electric two wheel mobility segment is the Mahindra GenZe, but don’t call it a scooter!  The intriguing electric two-wheeler has a lot to show.  A deep back basket-like cradle allows up to 200 Lbs and the GenZe has a removable battery, is completely linked to your smart phone, while its motorcycle-size front tire allows for better handling.  An all encasing aluminum structure makes it the perfect city e-mobility solution.

The inline electric shuttle Mahindra GenZe

We will have an interview ready for you with Sanjay Bonde, CEO later.

Chevy Spark EV

If someone would have told us Chevrolet would have a plug-in hybrid and then a pure electric car ten years ago, we would have laughed.  Today, GM did just that and lets you have a small drive around the block in one of its nifty little Spark EV cars.

What’s to like about it?  A true second generation electric car, nimble, a lot of fun to drive in Sport mode and frankly said, a fun interior.  More to follow on the Spark EV. Meanwhile, see what Adam had to say about it here.

Nissan Leaf

The new Nissan Leaf looks almost the same as the first generation, but the three different options are bound to seduce many.  Paul Scott, the charismatic EV activist, was taking orders left and right, virtually.  Don’t miss the red hot Leaf NISMO.  If you befriend Paul, he might even tell you how it felt driving it.  And yes, Santa Claus did come early this yes, and yes Paul, there is a Santa Claus!

Coast to Coast e-Mobility with Holland

One of the things we will not see at major auto shows is the work done behind the scenes.  Dr. Peter van Deventer of Coast to Coast e-Mobility and Werner Ghitti of Spystaal are part of an e-mobility group representing the U.S. and the Netherlands.  As they shared technologies and the different approaches being taken, it was great hearing what they had to say and the similarities our nations share.

VIA, Serious Truck Series Plug-in Hybrids

VIA has been in the limelight for some time now and the company keeps on refining their series plug-in hybrid (PHEV) solution based on GM platforms.  With a big announcement coming soon, they were showing how a PHEV can save fleet owners money by taking steps now towards reducing what will be harder to do later: emissions.

LUMOS, Car Charging Port with Taste

Let’s face it, there are many solar panel companies out there.  Buying into solar makes sense, but it can be difficult.  Lumos set out to streamline the experience with a good looking car port filled with solar panels.  A must see and more to come on that also.

AltCar Expo’s True Roots

If the early AltCar Expos were all about local visionaries, these days mainstream carmakers take center stage.  Stil,l local talents are showing their might.  How’s about an electric conversion of a red VW Beetle from a local High School student?  Or how about a solar powered boat whose tube was made from carbon fiber by hand?  These are part of the things that make AltCar Expo as unique as it is.

Speakers and Panels

AltCar Expo also gives you a chance to hear an incredible selection and list of speakers.  Most are well known and often times repeat the same message too much, but  others will tell you which government agencies are working with alternative energy vehicles and their safety.

Enigmatic Hydrogen Fuel Cell Is Back On Again

It’s hydrogen fuel cell season again, and you will hear once more about this bright promising technology that seems to be waiting at the start line.  We need many alternative energy solutions, but wonder why so much money is invested in this technology while electric cars are already up to their second generation, with plug-in hybrids, and with a consistent, and ever growing electric infrastructure.  Hydrogen technology is well adapted to trucks and offshore wind farms and has its place in transportation.  It makes us wonder where the huge amount of advertising money comes from and so-called neutral alternative energy speakers.  This makes the group look suspiciously to many.

Nicolas Zart
Born and raised around classic cars, it wasn't until Nicolas drove an AC Proulsion eBox and a Tesla Roadster that the light went on. Eager to spread the news about those amazing full torque electric vehicles, he started writing about this amazing technology and its social impacts in 2007. Today, Nicolas covers renewable energy, test drives cars, does podcasts and films. Nicolas offers an in-depth look at the e-mobility world through interviews and the many contacts he made in those industries. His articles are also published on Teslrati, CleanTechnica, the Beverly Hills Car Club and Medium. "There are more solutions than obstacles." Nicolas Zart