New transportation options revealed at OMSI ‘Drive Revolution’

There were no flying cars on display. But, look at some of the vehicles that were shown off – which may change the way we drive, in the near future …

OMSI provides hand-on experiences at their event called, “Drive Revolution: The Future of Transportation”.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Getting good mileage, preserving the environment – and having fun while wheeling around Portland – were the themes of a late summer show, an Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) event they called “Drive Revolution: The Future of Transportation”.

“This is a sustainable transportation show we’re putting on,” explained OMSI Event Planner Melony Beaird.

“It features both efficient fuel-burning vehicles, and some of the newest fully-electric and hybrid-electric cars,” Beaird explained to East Portland News.

OMSI Event Planner Melony Beaird said the event is more demonstrations of transportation options then a static show.

But, she pointed out, it was more than just a static car show. “Many of the vehicles are available for participants to take out for a test drive! People will be amazed at how well many of these vehicles perform.”

Sponsoring an event like this is important to the mission of OMSI, Beaird added. “This is one way we can educate the public about making more sustainable decisions – ones that will sustainably impact one’s life.”

Chris Martin “fuels up” a Honda 2013 Honda Fit EV by plugging it in to an electrical outlet.

Honda North America Honda spokesman Chris Martin was on hand, “fueling up” a Honda 2013 Honda Fit EV, making it ready for another test drive. It can go about 80 miles between charge-ups. “When it went on sale last July, a year ago, it was the most efficient vehicle ever rated by the EPA,” said Martin.

Mercedes-Benz was there too, showing off the largest, and the smallest, vehicles. “We’re letting folks try out our 2013 Smart Electric Drive and Mercedes-Benz 2013 GLK250 BlueTEC SUV,” said company spokesperson Diedra Wylie.

Reporter David F. Ashton gets ready to take a 2013 Smart Electric Drive car test drive.

Taking the Smart Electric Drive out for a spin, this reporter found the tiny-looking car remarkably roomy. It was also had surprisingly peppy acceleration. It has about an 80 mile range on a charge.

The event was also packed with hands-on demonstrations and activities provided by local organizations. Of interest to two-wheel transportation enthusiasts was the Cascadian Cargo Bike Fair.

Volunteers fit kids with bike helmets at this booth.

Demonstrating “virtual transportation”, Patrick Sherman of the Roswell Flight Test Crew launches their hand-built “hexacopter” for a flight over the Willamette River.

“Above all,” Beaird concluded, “Today is all about learning how to make the most of trips around town, and understanding how to shrink our carbon footprint.”

Learn more about OMSI at their website: CLICK HERE to open it.

© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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