Friday, September 5, 2008

Vacaville drives alternative fuel movement

Vacaville drives alternative fuel movement
By Ian Thompson | DAILY REPUBLIC | September 04, 2008

Ed Huestis, electric vehicle program manager with the City of Vacaville, sits in a natural gas powered 2006 Honda Civic GX. The car will be on display during the Earth Expo in downtown Vacaville Saturday. Photo by Brad Zweerink

VACAVILLE - The bottom line for all those people now seriously looking into buying an alternative fuel vehicle is economics . . . with a dash of patriotism.

'For the last six months, it has been crazy,' said Ed Huestis, manager of Vacaville's Electric Vehicle Program. 'Because of the high gas prices, people have been looking for alternatives.'

Huestis has fielded more requests for information about alternative fuel cars this year than ever before.

'I have sensed a lot of panic this year,' Huestis said. 'It was not so much the price per gallon, but the total cost of the fill-up.'

The idea of not being dependent on foreign oil is also something Huestis is hearing when he fields calls about the Vacaville's incentive programs that encourage people to buy alternative fuel vehicles.

'They want to have control over the situation rather than being dependent on foreign oil,' Huestis said.

On Saturday, Huestis will have the city's growing fleet of alternative fuel vehicles on display during Vacaville's first Earth Expo.

On display will be one of City Coach's compressed natural gas buses, an CNG-powered Honda Civic GX and the Phill Home Refueling Appliance for CNG vehicles.

Davis Electric Cars will display some of its neighborhood electric vehicles for people who want an efficient vehicle for driving around town.

Miles Motors plans to display a low-speed electric truck and electric sedan, and a Vectrix electric scooter. Information will also be available on Miles Motors' XS500 highway speed electric vehicle, which will be out early in 2009.

See the complete story at the Daily Republic online.