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Lacey Alternative Energy Fair


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SWMBO and I took the kids to the 12th Annual Lacey (Washington) Alternative Energy Fair. I got to see a real, live Miles EV. Neat little car, and a 4 seater unlike the ZENN.

Got to see several DIY electric car conversions. VW bugs, small pickups, a Porsche 914, and others. I have tremendous respect for the tenacity and know how of people who can build an electric car--either completely on their own or from a kit. In some ways, they are like hotrodders from decades ago who tinkered with their cars, improved the performance and handling, and this in turn led to better innovation out of Detroit. I remain hopeful the same will come of the efforts of today's "EV hotrodders".

Such fairs always are packed with companies selling solar hot water systems, geothermal systems, insulated windows, rooftop PV arrays, and vertical axis wind turbines. Some people are put off by this. I see tremendous value in such technologies, and the people installing them are simply going where there's likely to be a crowd of people interested in hearing about it. Probably not a big demand for such things at say a meeting of the American Petroleum Institute. I keep eyeing a solar hot water system and wind turbine as I suspect there's bigger, sooner payoff than a PV array here in the Great North Wet.

A local bike shop that carries hybrid electric bicycles had some Giant Twists on display. Quite slick. If I ever decide to step up my daily bike commute from 2 miles (my house to the Sumner train station) to 31 miles (Puyallup to Seattle), I'll definitely look into one of these.

One of the neatest things I saw was a vintage Stanley Steamer. Real, live, functioning vehicle. Guy was from Oregon. I'm no expert on these things, but it appears to have been a model from the 1910s. 2 seater open car with a big honkin' spotlight in the center.

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