Santa Monica, long at the forefront in establishing sustainability programs, will play host to the third annual free Alternative Car Expo from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, September 26th and 27th, at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, 1885 Main St., Santa Monica.

Aimed at showing transportation options to reduce an individual’s ecological footprint, the Expo is heavily promoting mass transit and lifestyle changes, such as having only one car and spending time in local neighborhoods, says the Expo’s creator and producer, Christine Dzilvelis.

“People are more receptive than ever to looking and making changes in their lifestyle,” she says. “Even if petroleum goes down in cost again I think the direction is firmly set and people understand the need to make some profound changes in their lifestyle.”

Among the vehicles to make their debut at the Expo are the trioBike, making its first U..S. appearance. The trioBike is a Danish three-in-one, a bicycle, a stroller, and a combination of the two for use in various capacities. Regina Keith, a local mother of two who found the trioBike through the Internet, became the company’s first and only U.S. sales representative so far. Information on the trioBike can be found at www.triobike.com/.

Local Main Street denizens will recognize Paul S. Pearson, who will be showing his custom-made all-electric cars at the Expo for the third year. This year, Pearson will have the U.S. debut of the prototype Lola EV, an all-electric freeway-capable sports car. Information can be found at www.electriccustomcars .com/.

Also, making its West Coast debut will be the General Motors Chevy Volt, an extended-range electric vehicle expected for delivery in 2010. The Volt made its debut at GM’s 100th anniversary celebration September 16th in Detroit, and GM expects it to lead the revival of the corporation into the next century of automobiles, according to a company press release.

The Big Blue Bus will also be unveiling a bus design for the future, and an array of speakers will participate in informative panels discussing transportation costs and tips for reducing one’s carbon footprint.

“When you have this combination of speakers, you have the main decision-makers in the entire state and in a combined effort, these are the people that are going to collectively put together the future for our state,” Dzilvelis says. “Collectively, they really will shape the immediate and near future, not just for California but others, because people follow California.”

Information, www.altcarexpo.com/.

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