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The AltCar crowd around the EV1 and the Chevy Volt. Photo to Amy Williams

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Here's a tip for Terry Tamminen: retire the joke already. You know, the one about Arnold Schwarzenegger and whoever just introduced you as a speaker, how they were pumping iron together back in the day? We heard it about Ed Begley at the 2006 Alt Car Expo and then again at AFVI in 2007. When Tamminen told it again at this year's Alt Car Expo (listen to the audio clip below), I started to worry that he might not have anything new to say at all. But, while Tamminen is still a strong supporter of h

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click above to see more of the TrioBike

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Dr. Andy Frank, the "godfather" of the plug-in hybrid

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For me, the highlight of the weekend's panel discussions at the Santa Monica Alt Car Expo was two guys just sitting around and chatting. The reason the hour-long freeflowing discussion between the men was so good was that they - Dan Neil (left in the picture above) and Ken Bensinger, both writers at the Los Angeles Times - were smart, funny and unafraid. Basically, it's what you want in a discussion of where things stand today in the automotive industry: two people calling it like they see it.

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One of the highlights of Day One of the Santa Monica Alt Car Expo was spending an hour with "Who Killed the Electric Car?" director Chris Paine and hearing stories about making both that film and his sequel-in-progress. While he said the studio/lawyers would not let him show any clips from the new film, he did say they've been filming for a while now and they really got serious about a month ago. The crew has so far visited the GM tech center in Warren, the Volt unveiling and Iceland. He also sh

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During a panel discussion on public transportation today at the Santa Monica AltCar Expo, Cristin Lindsay, senior director of the Automotive X Prize, gave us a bit more information about the teams that have signed up to participate in the race. You might remember that in late August, the X Prize foundation announced that there were over 100 teams that had signed up to compete for the $10 million prize. While we've gotten our fair share of interviews in with some of these teams, we certainly have

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Three new and radical bus concepts were unveiled in Santa Monica this morning as part of the third annual AltCar Expo. The bus of the future contest is an exercise in what's possible down the road, but it's also very timely: public transportation ridership in Santa Monica is up seven percent compared to last year.

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Kim Adelman's plug-in Prius was at the Santa Monica Alt Car Expo back in October, but somehow stayed hidden from my camera and eyes. The good news is that EVWorld's Bill Moore spotted the car and talked to Adelman about the car and Adelman's new company, Plug-In Conversions, which will send people to your house to convert your Prius to a PHEV in a day while you're off enjoying a latte or a game of poker (or, OK, working).

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We introduced you to the BugE concept vehicle earlier this year, and at the Santa Monica Alt Car Expo we finally got to see this strange beast in the metal. Not quite a car, more than a scooter, the BugE is one of the many entries in the city-commuter-use-only category of new vehicles. You can read the specs in our original post, and see what some kids think of the vehicle in the gallery below. Some say that smile is the "EV grin."

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If you've never heard Dr. Andy Frank, from UC Davis, speak about plug-in hybrids, you're in for a treat. Frank, who has been featured on AutoblogGreen quite a few times (highlights include an interview on UC Davis' Team Fate in the Auto X Prize and talking about kicking the oil habit with no sacrifice in lifestyle), is rightly considered one of the fathers of hybrid technology. He's been working on cars and PHEVs for thirty some years and spoke at the Santa Monica Alt Car Expo's Plug-In Technol

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There a palpable difference in audience members who attend panels on hydrogen cars and those who go and listen to speakers talking about battery electric vehicles. The enthusiasm of the people at the Santa Monica Alt Car Expo's hydrogen panel on Saturday (which you can hear and read about here) was simply outshone by that of the people at the EV panel just an hour or so later. Aside from the true H2 evangelists, people are simply more excited about pure electric cars than hydrogen fuel cell vehi

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Moderated by Leslie Goodbody from the California Air Resources Board, the Hydrogen/Fuel Cell Technology Panel at the Santa Monica Alt Car Expo featured three speakers (plus one). Each of them gave an upbeat view of hydrogen cars. Big surprise.

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Third Planet Energy's booth at the Santa Monica Alt Car Expo caught my eye. Which is exactly what the folks there intended. In fact, Third Planet Energy's whole goal is to allow you to catch other people's eyes, through the use of chrome emblems that will upgrade your car's back end to identify just what kind of powertrain you're running in that thing. All electric? VegOil? Hybrid? CNG? Biodiesel? All these emblems and more are available, as you can see in the gallery photos.

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The audio of Tamminen's speech from last year's Alt Car Expo was quite popular with our readers, and I expect his words from this year's Santa Monica Alt Car Expo will have the same impact. Why? Because Tamminen is a good public speaker with a solid message. Sure, sometimes he repeats his jokes, but what do you expect from a guy who has an audience in front of him so often?

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At the Transportation Planning Session panel on Friday morning, the Santa Monica Alt Car Expo gave space for a variety of speakers to expound on the broad challenges confronting transportation planners in the region. While the discussion focuses on how LA can improve, there are a lot of areas in the world that face similar problems, so I thought this would be of interest to quite a few readers.

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Mary Nichols, chairperson of the California Air Resources Board, gave what was billed as a keynots address at the Santa Monica Alt Car Expo yesterday. Big name for a half-hour talk on the future of green vehicles in California. Nichols said that the forseeable end points for CARB are two powertrain types: pure electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. The reason that what CARB sees as the future is important beyond the borders of California is that so many other states look to the Golden State f

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The Boshart Tersus may look like the Phoenix SUT, but it certainly doesn't quack like a Phoenix SUT. Both of these unusual electric trucks are built from the same Ssanyong body, but are totally different under the hood. Well, not completely. Boshart Engineering actually did some engineering work for Phoenix, and decided that there was room in the market for another, um, can't-miss-the-styling electric truck. The difference? This one is an NEV.

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