TACOMA, Wash. (May 15, 2012) – With gas prices topping $4 per gallon around the country, many people are talking about alternative energy cars. So are the folks at America’s Car Museum (ACM), which will feature vehicles powered by gasoline and other fuels in an exhibit set to debut at the museum’s June 2 grand opening. “Alternative Propulsion” will showcase cars from the past, present and future powered partially by gasoline, such as hybrid-electric vehicles, and by other means, including electric vehicles (EVs), hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles (FCVs), diesel-powered vehicles, natural gas vehicles (NGVs) and even cars powered by bio-fuels.
“For more than 100 years, inventors and car manufacturers have been looking at getting the most out of fuel, whether it’s gasoline or something else,” says Scot Keller, ACM chief marketing and communications officer. “Many of the earliest cars on American roads were electric vehicles, and now so are some of today’s cars. We’re not promoting any particular type of ‘green technology,’ but we are going to tell their stories and show how each can help consumers reduce their carbon footprint and in so doing, benefit the environment.”
“There is no fuel source, gasoline included, that doesn’t face multiple technical, societal and financial challenges,” says Ken Gross, guest curator for ACM. “There isn’t one ‘magic bullet’ that has the ability to do all things for all people, and the purpose of this gallery is to educate museum attendees on the history, technology, future trends, challenges and relative strengths of each approach.”
The LeMay Family Collection will provide two examples of historical electric vehicles for the display, both of which had a top “speed” of 20 miles per hour back in the day.
A 1912 Standard Electric Open Tourer owned by ACM board member Doug LeMay will represent early 20th century EV technology. This car is still drivable, and in 1998 the Standard was the only electric vehicle that completed the 130-mile New London to New Brighton Auto Run in Minnesota.
LeMay is also providing a 1914 Detroit Electric Priscilla for the Alternative Propulsion exhibit. The Priscilla represents Detroit Electric, makers of the most successful early electric cars and known for their tall, glassy China cabinet-like bodies.
The Tacoma-based museum, which will house more than 350 vintage cars, trucks and motorcycles, is dedicated to preserving and highlighting America’s love affair with the auto. Sitting on a nine-acre campus overlooking the Foss Waterway, the four-level, 165,000 square-foot facility will host concerts, collector car shows and drive-in movies, and is already serving as the site for conventions, corporate meetings and events.
For more information, visit www.lemaymuseum.org.
ABOUT America’s Car Museum (www.lemaymuseum.org)
State Farm Presents LeMay – America’s Car Museum, set for a June 2012 opening in downtown Tacoma, Wash., explores how the automobile has fulfilled a distinctive role at the core of the American experience and shaped our society. The spacious Museum with rotating exhibits is designed to be the centerpiece for automotive history as well as an educational center and library. The campus, located adjacent to the Tacoma Dome, also contains a 3.5-acre show field, theatre, café, banquet hall and meeting facilities. To become an ACM member, volunteer or make a donation, visit www.lemaymuseum.org.
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PHOTO CAPTION: Alternative fuel vehicles have been around for quite some time, as shown by this 1914 Detroit Electric which will be part of the "Alternative Propulsion" exhibit at LeMay - America's Car Museum. The new museum will have its grand opening on Saturday, June 2 in Tacoma, Washington. (Photo by ACM).