Okay we are already green but Tony Perkins and Ed Ring invited us to participate in the GoingGreen Conference at U.C. Davis. This was a fantastic conference. They expected 700 people and over 800 showed up which is amazing given the drive from San Francisco is about an hour and twenty minutes. I drove up on Monday night to meet Ron Jr and Ron Sr then I drove the car over to the venue. Here are some pics of the Robert Mondavi Conference Center and the car in the auto garden.
Then we went to the cocktail reception after the Keynote from my friend Zem Joaquin (nice job Zem!) and William McDonough. Here are some pics from the packed cocktail reception and the boys from Chicago enjoying some California hospitality. Ron Sr was out charming the crowd and even met a guy who owned Aston Martin back in the 70's!
The next day was jam packed with people coming by to check out the E85 Viper in a sea of electric and hydrogen powered cars that looked like this
I think my favorite moment of the day was someone who spotted the car from across the way and came stomping over looking quite upset. He looks at me and said "Please don't tell me you neutered this beautiful car so it could run on biofuel". He was ecstatic to hear it was just the opposite and we had in fact more than doubled the horsepower. He smiled from ear to ear and said "that is good to hear...I own a white Viper". Got to love Viper owners. We also had some great visitors from the press including Michael Kanellos who I haven't seen in years. He wrote a nice story. BTW Michael the "source close to the company" was not me but I sure wish I knew who it was since they almost tanked my first acquisition. Finally Bambi Francisco stopped by to to an interview for her new startup up vator.tv
I attended several sessions including one on biofuels and another on the next generation car. Three things became quite clear
- a tremendous amount of innovation is happening in the industry
- e85 stands out as something you can do to have an immediate impact on the environment today
- electric and hydrogen are still relatively impractical alternatives and some feel hydrogen will never make it
Another cocktail reception where I ran into my good friend Paul Denninger, it was great to catch up and get his take on the conference as well as the overall tech industry.
Finally, we closed down the Auto Garden and it was time to drive my baby home. After two long years of waiting I finally drove her home. I must say running her on E85 at high boost is epic!
She is finally sitting in my garage safe and sound. Here is a pic from the garden right before we left. I like the reflection of the tree on the trunk and hood, kind of says it all...