An adaptation of the Museum’s popular 2006 exhibition on the same subject, the exhibit Alternative Power: Lessons from the Past, Inspiration for the Future explores the history of automobile propulsion. Using the ubiquitous reciprocating internal combustion engine as a baseline for comparison, the exhibit presents alternatively engineered forms of internal combustion engine—turbines, for example—alongside alternatives to the internal combustion engine itself, such as electric motors and fuel cells. Also discussed are the many options beyond petroleum that exist for fueling more commonplace engines: biodiesel, vegetable oil, ethanol, etc. The long-term exhibit serves an important educational purpose, offering a broad historical perspective on one of the most pervasive subjects in today’s media. Open as of mid-winter 2007 in the second floor space formerly occupied by the Hot Wheels Hall of Fame.
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