The AltCar crowd around the EV1 and the Chevy Volt. Photo to Amy Williams
The third Santa Monica Alt Car Expo has come and gone. AutoblogGreen has been lucky enough to attend each iteration of this growing expo, and being back in Santa Monica made us want to take a look back. In December 2006, the first event was held at the Barker Hanger not long after the Tesla Roadster was introduced to the world in the same hall. The Alt Car Expo has always been about showing what average people are doing in the green car space - and making that information very easy for other average people to get. The show is free and held over two days, and the attendance numbers have only gone up. Around 10,000 people attended each of the first two years, but in 2008, the first time it was held in the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, more than 15,000 attendees showed up, according to estimates from Platia Productions, the show's producer.
Things have changed through the years. As one AutoblogGreen reader, Dave S., noticed, Phoenix Motorcars did not have a booth. This disappointed him, since he flew all the way from Chicago to visit Alt Car. The Spyder was also missing and Zap! was nowhere to be found. Also, we missed Ed Begley, Jr. this year but we did get another dose of Terry Tamminen saying some of the same things and PHEV "godfather" Dr. Andy Frank was there again. I saw OKA's Miro Kefurt wandering the hall, but he didn't have his own booth this time. The OEMs - GM and Honda, at least - have their presence at the show, but it's never something new. Still, as you can see in the picture above, people loved getting some face time with the new Volt.
In any case, AltCar Santa Monica is a good show, and we're glad to cover it each year. You can read every post we've done about the show over the years here. Later this month, we'll be visiting the first ever edition of Alt Car Austin. Stay tuned.