Alternative transportation options, alternative energy sources and vehicle product reviews will be highlighted during the Fourth Annual AltCar Expo, presented by the City of Santa Monica, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, October 2nd and 3rd, at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, 1855 Main St.

Admission is free and open to the public both days. Consumers will have the chance to see alternative fuel vehicles that are new and now available on the market.

Visitors will also be able to experience the latest choices in electric, hydrogen, bio-diesel, natural gas, propane, hybrid, plug-in, ethanol and cycling transportation technologies. All alternative fuel options will be on display.

The AltCar Expo includes a complimentary bike valet, an expanded bike area and the popular “Ride and Drive” lot where consumers can test the latest in alternative fuel vehicles, with many of them available for sale at the show.

Alternative fuel major manufacturers expected to attend include Honda, Toyota, General Motors, Ford, BMW and Nissan, as well as small and new alternative companies like Wheego Electric Cars, Good Earth and Electrorides.

Other scheduled exhibitors include Santa Monica Honda, launching its debut as a natural gas Civic dealer and Ford’s high fuel efficient Fiesta, which will be for sale in spring 2010, expo organizers said. The introduction of the NEV 1939 Roadster will also be on display.

Several major manufacturers will preview new alternative energy vehicles, including the BMW E-mini, Ford’s Fusion Hybrid and the Transit Connect European-built small van.

“We aren’t just presenting ideas of the future, but rather showing that there are solutions available today that allow us to use less energy and reduce our carbon footprint without making big changes to our lifestyles.” said Rick Sikes, fleet superintendent for the City of Santa Monica and moderator on the Technology Review.

Toyota’s newest Prius and the Good Earth’s Firefly are among other new previews at the expo.

Panel discussions on October 2nd will be “Focus on Fleets:” with the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) and NAFA Fleet Managers participating. Other educational sessions will include some of the state’s top industry leaders and decision makers for future transportation planning, and experts on tax programs for rebates and credits for alternative technology choices.

A sustainable food café will be open for attendees.

Parking for AltCar Expo at the Santa Monica Civic is $8 for the day. For a complete schedule of industry expert speakers, exhibitors and energy panels, www.altcarexpo.com/ or (310) 390-2930.

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