If you are in the Boston, MA area this weekend you might want to swing by the Boston City Hall Plaza on Saturday or the Larz Anderson Auto Museum on Sunday. Ford, General Motors, Honda, Toyota and Volkswagen as well as Azure Dynamics, and other manufacturers and suppliers are all bringing their latest high mileage and alternative fuel models to show off to prospective buyers. The state of Massachusetts has been one of the leaders of the group of North-Eastern states that have adopted California style emissions regulations so they are heavily promoting these types of vehicles along with mass transit. There will be over 100 exhibits of vehicles, technology and transportation alternatives. The Festival actually started last weekend with a symposium held at the Boston Museum of Science. Among the displays this weekend will be
- compressed natural gas (CNG) Honda Civic GX
- an Austin Mini, which Greasecar Vegetable Fuel Systems LLC, based in Florence, MA, converted from diesel to run on vegetable oil
- an all-electric Toyota RAV4
- a gasoline/electric Toyota Prius hybrid
- an electric/hydrogen-fuel-cell hybrid, Vectrix maxi-scooter (in the Museum lobby)
- Live presentations by Museum educators on emerging alternative-energy technologies will be featured in the Current Science & Technology Center on an ongoing basis.
Also on display will be the Electric 1964 VW bus created by the VW Electronics Research Lab and Hybrid Technologies which will be making its North American public debut and the return of the 2008 Jetta TDI. Ford also has a hydrogen fuel cell powered Focus. Admission to the festival is free on Saturday at the Boston City Hall Plaza. When it moves to the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline on Sunday admission will be $7 per person. This definitely sounds like a show to check out if you're interested in these kinds of vehicles, which you probably are if you're reading this site. The full press release from the festival organizers is after the jump.
For Immediate Release
AltWheels Festival Unites a Broad Coalition of Transportation and Energy Leaders to Address Our Oil Addiction
Boston, MA – August 30, 2006 The AltWheels Festival is convening a broad, public/private coalition of automakers, municipal organizations, transportation professionals, environmental and educational leaders, and bike and walk groups, to find real alternatives to our costly addiction to oil.
Witness this unique coming together of more than 80 transportation- and energy-related organizations during the Fourth Annual AltWheels Alternative Transportation Festival on Friday and Saturday, September 22 and 23 at
The coalition that comes together to put on the fourth year of the AltWheels Festival consists of nearly 40 sponsors and more than 76 co-hosts. They include collaboration across the following organizations:
² Leading automakers such as Ford, General Motors, Honda,
² Public-transportation providers such as Amtrak, CityView Trolleys, Massport and the MBTA.
² Transportation organizations such as the National Association of Fleet Administrators, the Society of Automotive Engineers, and WTS–Womens Transportation Seminar.
² Alternative transportation, fuel and energy suppliers such as AVSG, Bell Power Systems, Clean Energy, Cummins, Dennis K. Burke, Emerging Vehicles, Greasecar Vegetable Fuel Systems, KeySpan Energy Delivery, the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition, the Propane Education and Research Council, and Zipcar.
² Transportation advocates such as the Association of Commuter Transportation, Clean Cabs for
² Bike and walk groups such as the Boston Bicycle Planning Initiative, CambridgeWalks, the In-Line Club of Boston, the Livable Streets Alliance, the Major Taylor Association, MassBike, Rails-to-Trails, WalkBoston, and Walkable Communities.
² Environmental organizations such as the Appalachian Mountain Club, Environmental Defense, and the Sierra Club.
² Environmentally sensitive retailers such as REI, and Whole Foods.
² Health care providers such as Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
² Financial-services institutions such as the Bank of America, Liberty Mutual, and Progressive Asset Management.
² Municipal groups such as the Cities of Boston,
² Educational institutions such as MIT,
² Media organizations such as The Boston Globe, Metro Boston, New England Cable News, WBZ NewsRadio 1030, and WheelsTV.net.
Alternatives to the gasoline-fueled car have been around since the 1800s. Today, cars can get 60-plus miles per gallon and zero-emission vehicles exist. AltWheels features more than 100 exhibits beating the high cost and pollution associated with traditional gas- and diesel-powered vehicles. Passenger vehicles on display will include flex fuel vehicles, the latest hybrid models, solar-powered and electric cars, plug-in hybrids that can be charged with household electricity, fuel-cell/hydrogen million dollar prototype vehicles, vehicles that run on compressed natural gas-including CNG home-refueling options, cars that run on used vegetable oil, biodiesel or ethanol. Non-auto transportation options include rides on the Segway HT™ scooter, commuter bikes, electric scooters, bike-valet parking, and bike rides from the site. AltWheels will also display historical vehicles, including a 1920s Stanley Steamer and a 1914 Rauch and Lang electric vehicle.
"This year, we are proud to introduce the first ethanol vehicles and fuel distribution options to
The AltWheels Symposium, on Saturday and Sunday, September 16 and 17, will preview the Festival, providing more in-depth information on the varieties of technologies that will be on display the following weekend. Panel discussions with industry experts will cover such topics as sustainable urban design, promoting the use of fuel-efficient and renewable-fueled vehicles for personal, government, and business use; initiatives to encourage ride sharing and increased use of mass transit; and innovations that all play an important role in creating a more sustainable transportation future.
Another exciting, informative event will take place at the Museum of Science on Thursday, September 14 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Museum educator David Sittenfeld will kick off the AltWheels Festival with the launch of hydrogen-fueled rockets on the front plaza, weather-permitting (inside, if it rains). He will also discuss the stories and science behind the alternative vehicles on display on the Museum's front plaza. On display are:
² compressed natural gas (CNG) Honda Civic GX
² an Austin Mini, which Greasecar Vegetable Fuel Systems LLC, based in
² an all-electric Toyota RAV4
² a gasoline/electric Toyota Prius hybrid
² an electric/hydrogen-fuel-cell hybrid, Vectrix maxi-scooter (in the Museum lobby)
² Live presentations by Museum educators on emerging alternative-energy technologies will be featured in the
Live presentations by Museum educators on emerging alternative-energy technologies will be featured in the
AltWheels Admission. Admission to the Festival is free on Friday and Saturday, September 22 and 23 on Boston City Hall Plaza, and $7 per person on Sunday, September 24 at the
AltWheels Fleet Day. AltWheels will also host an invitation-only Fleet Day event on Monday, September 25 at the
² Saturday, Sept. 16, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Technology, Fuel and Infrastructure
² Sunday, Sept. 17, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Transportation Choices and Smart Design.
No extra charge with paid Museum admission. Free admission to AltWheels members and volunteers.
² Thursday, Sept. 21, departing from the
² Friday, Sept. 22, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Note: Awards Ceremony to be held at Boston City Hall Plaza on Friday, Sept. 22, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
² Saturday, Sept. 23, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
² Sunday, Sept. 24, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
² Monday, Sept. 25, 8:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (Note: By invitation only)