The Tour de Sol Reports, 2002
Sponsored by The AutoAuditorium System

Unless otherwise noted, all these photos were taken by and Copyright 2002 to John Helwig.

Tour de Sol 2002 Photos

This is the main page for collections of photographs from the 2002 Tour de Sol.

The collections are such that most pictures will show up in several places.

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Photos from Sunday in Baltimore.

rEVolutionaryride. No, the picture is not backwards. The text on the nose is mirror-imaged.

The motor comparment in rEVolutionaryride. All the cables and connections are protected by flexible conduit and covers.

SunPacer. Removing the side panels gives eash access to the motor and batteries. The solar panel is the sloping surface at the rear.

SunPacer's cockpit with the new dashboard.

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More pictures from Baltimore.

The first two days of the Tour de Sol, before the road rally actually begins is spent testing the vehicles and collecting data. These pictures are from those two days, Sunday and Monday, 12 and 13 May 2002.

The display and testing area at Rash Field on Baltimore's Inner Harbor.

Hybrid Challenger II


Electric Blue

The hydrogen tank is in the center of the pickup bed. One of the two 500 Watt fuel cells is visible tucked under the rear quarter panel. The other fuel cell is in the same position on the other side. The curved bars support the Gore-tex bed cover.

Another view of Electric Blue's hydrogen tank.

Electric Blue gets some of its charge from this solar array. It also plugs in and gets electricity from the hydrogen fuel cells.



This large solar panel is both for show and generating electricity.

Spin Cycle

The Olympian

The Super Force has a trailer with an extra battery pack to provide additional range.

The Super Force with the trailer. The cover for the trailer is made from a kids plastic sandbox.

ZFFV stands for Zero Fossil Fuel Vehicle.



Honda Insight driven by Team Driven To Work.

Soljourner 2

Soljourner 2 shows its electric half.

Climate Cooler II

La Clean Machine

The solar array on SunPacer.


Toyota Prius

Detroit Electric, displayed by the Boyretown (Pennsylvania) Museum of Historic Vehicles.

AVS Hybrid Electric Bus

Sungo, with its "doors" open.

Electric Hog

L3 Enigma

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Solar Black Bear with 1 kiloWatt of its solar panel deployed. The other kiloWatt is still folded on the truck behind the cab.

This truck provides the electricity for the Tour de Sol displays sound system and other uses. The energy from the solar panels on the roof is stored in batteries in the truck. Inverters deliver 120 Volts AC.

"I've found the loose wire!"

"Now if someone will just pull on my feet, gently ..."

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The Road Rally portion of the Tour de Sol officially started on Tuesday, 14 May 2002, on the Capital Mall.

The GEM neighborhood vehicle sold by DaimlerChrysler.

There were two events with students racing their battery-powered car designs. This is the drag-race ...

and this is the hill climb.

A lot of pictures like this one were taken on the Capital Mall.

Visitors on the Capital Mall.

This bus promoted the use of soy bean oil as a fuel ...

and publicized its milage.

Nancy Hazard, Director of the Tour de Sol, speaking with the press.

Eugene Beers brings his one-man solar powered band to the Tour. He has been to several past Tours and will be along for the entire week.

Environmental Protection Administrator Christine Whitman visited and spoke at the Tour. She and her staff arrived on bicycles.

In this photo of AVS hybrid-electric bus you can see the Capstone micro-turbine generator unit on the left.

Warren Leon, Executive Director of NESEA.

The DiamlerChrysler "Natrium" on display. Mirrors on the ground let you see the components underneath.

Here you can see the Millennium Cell components. At the middle of the picture are the reactor and related components. There are two plastic tanks visible at the bottom of the picture. The one on the left contains the sodium borohydride solution. The one on the right collects the "exhaust", a mixture of borax and water.

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After leaving Washington DC on Tuesday, the Tour overnighted at the Sandy Point State Park, near Annapolis Maryland.

A popular student activity and sport is to build these electric cars and race them.

Here is one with its skin off.

Another, with its skin behind it. I think that driver is a bit old for high school.

Another popular student activity is the Junior Solar Sprint races. Students are given a solar panel and electric motor, and must construct a car that runs on sunlight. We had plenty of sunlight most of the day.

The GEM vehicle is particularly popular in the sun-belt states. It is easy to see why that would be.

Sungo starting the next leg of the Tour. Note the earth-flag waved to start the rally.

The AVS bus on its way to Chesapeak City.

A series of students each got to wave the starting banner at Sandy Point.

Carl Vogel is smiling because the Electric Hog decided to start working again. He won't be able to compete in the rally since he was unable to go through the Technical Testing. Still he has decided to come along for the whole Tour and display his creation.

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Thursday, 16 May 2002 saw the Tour in Philadelphia.

This variation on the theme of rickshaw has an electric assist.

And this variation on that variation does also.

This is another take on the small racing electric vehicle.

You have to get down low to see into the Viking 23 from Western Washington University.

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Photos from Philadelphia

The Tour de Sol stopped in Philadelphia on Thursday 16 May 2002 at the little park between 16th and 17th Streets on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Bicycles with electric assistance.

Practical electric transportation for people who have difficulty walking.

DiamlerChrysler's Sebring Hybrid, with TTR (Through The Road) technology.

Bob Rice's VW Rabbit conversion, which he uses daily.

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Photos from the Autocross

A large parking lot at the Garden State Race Track in Cherry Hill New Jersey was the site of the Autocross and acceleration testing.

Charging and keeping cool.

The DC Cruiser suffered a rear-ending while participating in range testing. A driver of an SUV trying dial cell phone slammed Number 6 from behind. Seth and Mark Murray's heads hit and broke the rear window, but they were treated and eventually released at the hospital.

While at the hospital they got a call from the other teams asking if they could help put the DC Cruiser back on the road. Early the next morning the truck was back in running condition, even if it was not pretty. It was reinspected and allowed back in the competition.

Here's something you don't see every day: a turbine hybrid-electric bus running an Autocross course!

A local chapter of the Sports Car Clubs of America set up and ran the Autocross. Here a first time driver is given a few pointers.

Team Driven to Work's Honda Insight on the Autocross.

Solar Black Bear in a hard turn.

The Charging Trailer under its tent.

The AVS hybrid bus "on the plug." Since the bus has a significant electric, zero-emission range, it often makes sense to charge the grid.

The charging plug on the AVS bus.

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Photos from the Trenton

The Tour de Sol stopped at the Trenton State Museum and Library on Friday 17 May 2002.

A portion of the display area.

The chemical equation for the Millennium Cell reaction. 1 molecule of sodium borohydride + 2 molecules of water, in the presence of a catalyst, creates 4 molecules of hydrogen + 1 molecule of borax + heat.

The Honda "Civic Hybrid", Pace Car of the Tour de Sol.

The Olympian


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Photographs from the Finish Line

It was pouring rain at the Finish Line of the Tour de Sol on Saturday when the vehicles arrived. As the morning progressed the rain stopped and eventually the sun came out. As the weather got nicer, people and the press started to show up and talk to the teams on display.

The West Philadelphia High School Team with "Soljourner 1", which took home a bunch of awards.

The "rEVolutionride" team. (Due to a typographic error, this team was called "rEVolutionaryride" in the program.)

Team mates "Phantom Sol" (foreground) and "Solar Black Bear"

Some electric scooters on display ...

and electric bicycles.

Personal Electric Transport (PET) had a wide variety of vehicles to display. I think this one is called "Rocket Runner".

PET's "LA Clean Machine"

Also from PET.

The PET Quick Change trailer, used by the scooters during the Tour. Swapping a battery pack took about 80 seconds, without rushing. "Climate Cooler II" is strapped on top.

PET's "La Bomba". The rear wheels lean when you turn, and you can strap your feet in, something like ski bindings, in case you "get some air." This is seen as a sporting bike, for down-hill runs.

The Capstone turbine in the AVS bus. The turbine is the larger silver cylinder, and the generator is the gray cylinder on the left.

A Ford "Th!nk City". The New York Power Authority has a "station car" program for commuters in West Chester, Rockland, and Putnam counties. About 75 are already in use.

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Photographs from the Awards Presentation

Mark (left) and Seth (center) Murray receive the NESEA Safety Award from Gary Carr.

Team New England received the Most Efficient Vehicle per Passenger prize from Mark Simon (right) of the New York Department of Transportation.

Team Driven to Work get an award from Garry Carr.

University of Maine's "Phantom Sol" took 1st place in Acceleration.

"The Olympian" team.

"Sungo" came in first in Battery Electric Range with Advanced Batteries.

The "Zodiac" took the Most Solar Miles Driven in One Day Award.

The "E-STREAM" team with Chris Hebb (right).

The team with the "AVS22 Hybrid-Electric Bus" are given the Most Innovative Vehicle Award by Rob Wills (right).

"ParaDyne" from the University of Tulsa took the first prize for Range and Reliability.

The West Philadelphia High School Team ("Soljourner 1" and "Soljourner 2") with Simon Hauger, George Bradford EV Teacher of 2002(front row, right). "Soljourner 1" was the first place Most Efficient Light Duty Vehicle.

"Soljourner 1" all decked out in its trophies.

The PET "LA Clean Machine", driven by IBEW Local 18 members, won The Greenest Vehicle Award.

Team New Jersey took the Hydrogen Category prize with their "Electric Blue" pickup truck. They also had a large solar panel for charging, which contributed 44 miles.

Warren Leon (left), Executive Director of NESEA, awards the first place Production Hybrid-Electric to Bob Strattan and his 2001 Toyota Prius.

Nancy Hazard, Director of the Tour de Sol thanks the teams for a great event.

Koichi Miyashita (left), from Naruto University in Japan, is the Director of Shikoku EV Challenge. He was on the Tour de Sol Jury last year and this. Topher Waring also served of the Jury, and, as his students said, was the Heart of fondly remembered "Helios the Heron" teams. He plans to bring a high school team to the Tour someday. Maybe next year?