Autopia Gets a Charge As Disneyland Is Going Electric with Classic Ride

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A candid image from the autopia ride of the disneyland (Credits: Electrek)

Remember that rumbling about gas-powered cars at Disneyland’s Autopia ride? Well, buckle up for a change of pace! Environmental groups have been pushing for a greener Autopia experience, and it looks like their voices have been heard.

Disney recently announced that Autopia will be getting a major upgrade – it’s going all-electric. This news comes after park officials hinted at ditching gas engines in the future. Climate activists weren’t satisfied with vague promises, though. They wanted a firm commitment to a complete electric makeover, and fast.

Autopia in the Disneyland (Credits: Quartz)

Late last week, Disney confirmed that Autopia will be going fully electric within the next 30 months. There’s no room for misinterpretation here – Disney spokesperson Jessica Good clarified that “electrification means fully electric,” with no hybrids or other gasoline options in sight. So, those familiar gas-guzzling engines will be a thing of the past within the next two and a half years.

Time for a Tune-Up: Autopia Gets a Clean and Green Upgrade

Disneyland’s Autopia ride feels a bit stuck in the past. Here we are, cruising through “Tomorrowland” in gas-powered cars that pump out fumes – not exactly a futuristic vision!

These emissions aren’t just bad for the environment; they’re not so great for the people who breathe them in, especially young children. Imagine the irony – a fun ride that might actually be harming your health! It kind of makes sense that the former sponsor, Chevron (a company not exactly known for its commitment to clean air), was okay with this setup.

Autopia of Disneyland

Thankfully, things are changing. Disney switched sponsors in 2012 and upgraded the engines for better efficiency. However, even the newer models still leave a lot to be desired – they’re noisy, smelly, and still release harmful emissions. This is a problem for the park’s employees, too, with Disney even offering hazard pay to those who work in the Autopia area.

Autopia: A Blast from the Past in Need of a Future Boost

Let’s focus on Disneyland’s Autopia ride. It’s a classic attraction located in “Tomorrowland,” a land supposedly showcasing visions of the future. The problem? Cruising around in gas-powered cars that spew fumes feels more like a trip down memory lane than a glimpse ahead.

Here’s the thing: it’s 2024, and electric vehicles (EVs) are no longer a novelty. By 2016, when the ride received its last engine upgrade, EVs were already proving their worth. So, sticking with gas-powered technology seems a bit out of place in a land themed around tomorrow! This isn’t just about the environment, though. The exhaust fumes are a health concern, especially for young children visiting the park.

Cars from the autopia ride (Credits: MotorTrend)

It’s interesting to note that even Honda, the sponsor who upgraded the engines in 2016, hasn’t exactly been a leader in the electric car movement.

Tomorrowland opened in 1955 and showcased what the 1950s imagined the future would be like. Fast forward seven decades, and things have definitely changed! Even Bob Gurr, the 92-year-old designer of the original Autopia cars, agrees. In a recent interview, he summed it up perfectly: “Get rid of those God-awful gasoline fumes.”


By Rajdeep Singh

Rajdeep (New Delhi) sparks electric vehicle enthusiasm with engaging content, empowering everyone to join the EV revolution.

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