May 15, 2006 (From the CalCars-News archive)
Tour de Sol Winners Announced
Source: NESEA [May 14, 2006]
GREENFIELD, MA-May 14, 2006-The results are in - and over 50 light duty vehicles competing in the Tour de Sol, America's #1 green car show and competition "driving toward zero carbon emissions" demonstrated their ability of reducing oil use and climate change emissions by over 100%, compared to conventional vehicles that achieve the 27 mpg CAFÉ standard for light duty vehicles.
Held May 10-14 at the Saratoga Spa State Park and Saratoga Automobile Musuem in Saratoga Springs, NY, the Tour de Sol featured entrants in three separate competitions who turned in spectacular results and took home trophies and $10,000 in cash prizes. Using many energy efficiency techniques, and in some cases switching to less carbon intensive fuels such as compressed natural gas, biodiesel, vegetable oil, or electricity and hydrogen from clean renewable sources, the entrants demonstrated an average of 66 mpg, 140% above the current CAFÉ standard, and reductions in climate change emissions of 130%.
Perhaps the most interesting entry in the Monte Carlo Rally was a modified Honda Insight employing Plug-In charging and Integrated Motor Assist, and a 5th wheel powered by an electric motor for faster electric startup. This unique vehicle, driven by Mike Dabrowski of North Grosvenordale, CT. achieved an overall performance of 82.49 mpg and took 3 awards, including the top "Plug-In Hybrid" Award.
Additionally, HyMotion, from Concord, Ontario, Canada, showed one of the most interesting commercial options that could take hybrid technology to the next level. HyMotion's PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle) kit is designed to convert a Toyota Prius or Ford Hybrid Escape into a hybrid vehicle that can drive in electric-only mode for 20 miles, and plug into an electrical outlet for recharging. The advantage of such a vehicle is that, in normal use where daily driving is often between 20-40 miles, it could reduce gasoline use by 50- 80%, and shift its motive energy to electricity from the Grid that can be produced by zero-carbon renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.
Premier sponsors of the 2006 Tour de Sol were the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the Center for Technology Commercialization. Additional key sponsors included the New York Power Authority, the Saratoga Automobile Museum, Stewart's Shops, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, Eastern Biofuels, New York Department of Environmental Conservation, Toyota, the UK Trade & Investment, Honda, Kurkoski Solar Electric, Westboro Toyota, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, E-The Environmental Magazine, EIN Publishing, and GreenBiz.com.
The Northeast Sustainable Energy Association, organizer of the Tour de Sol, is the Northeast's leading organization of professionals and concerned citizens working in sustainable energy, and whole systems thinking. NESEA facilitates the widespread adoption and use of sustainable energy by providing support to industry professionals and by educating and motivating consumers to learn about, ask for and adopt sustainable-energy and green-building practices. NESEA accomplishes this through conferences, K-12 educational resources, its members and chapters, its Sustainable Yellow Pages, and public events.