Disneyland to convert Autopia cars from gas to electric

The once-futuristic Tomorrowland concepts of freeways and overpasses that seem hopelessly outdated today will get a modern boost when Disneyland electrifies the gas-powered fleet of exhaust-spewing Autopia cars.

Disneyland will electrify Autopia and convert the attraction from gas engines in the next few years, according to Disneyland officials.

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“Since opening with Disneyland park in 1955, Autopia has remained a guest-favorite most popular with young kids experiencing driving for the first time,” according to Disneyland officials. “As the industry moves toward alternative fuel sources, we have developed a roadmap to electrify this attraction and are evaluating technology that will enable us to convert from gas engines in the next few years.”

Disneyland officials would not say whether the Autopia cars would be converted to fully electric or hybrid vehicles, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The “next few years” timetable likely pushes the Autopia conversion to 2026 or beyond.

The last major Autopia refurbishment took place in 2016 when Honda became the ride’s sponsor. Previous ride sponsors were Chevron (2000-2012) and Richfield Oil (1955-1970), according to D23.

The 1955 opening day attraction was redesigned in 1959, 1964 and 1968, according to D23. An extensive remodeling related to the Chevron sponsorship closed Autopia from September 1999 through June 2000, according to D23.

Disneyland could be planning an electric update to Autopia in 2026 if the Honda sponsorship ends after a 10-year contract, according to WDW News Today.

Florida’s Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Paris also have versions of the Autopia attraction. Tokyo Disneyland closed its Grand Circuit Raceway ride in 2017. The Hong Kong Disneyland Autopia — which closed in 2016 — featured electric cars with lighting effects and onboard audio, according to WDW News Today.

Electrifying Autopia is part of Disney’s goal of incorporating a net zero emissions future into every aspect of the Disneyland resort and reducing its overall carbon footprint, according to Disneyland officials.

The Disneyland resort has made a sustainability commitment of reaching net zero emissions by 2030 by increasingly relying on cleaner renewable energy sources. Over the past 18 months, the sustainability efforts have resulted in 10 million kilowatts of energy savings, according to Disneyland officials.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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