The Tour de Sol Reports, 2005
Sponsored by The AutoAuditorium System

See the main page of Tour de Sol 2005 Photos at
Unless otherwise noted, these all photos were taken by and Copyright 2005 to John Helwig.

Short Descriptions of the 2005 Tour de Sol Championship Entrants

Entrants in the Sustainable Energy and Transportation Festival and Competition


Production Division: Light Duty Vehicles

Vehicle Name: 2004 Civic GX
Team Name: American Honda Motor Company
Demonstration Vehicle: 2004 Honda Civic GX
ICE: Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)

American Honda is pleased to continue offering the Natural Gas fueled Civic GX; named "Cleanest Production Vehicle on Earth" for the 3rd consecutive year by the ACEEE. The Civic GX offers a 20-30% fuel savings, using domestically produced CNG, with a range of 210-240 miles per fillup. Honda continues to support CNG as the "Pathway to Hydrogen." Honda will be exhibiting the hydrogen fueled FCX that is currently being demonstrated by the NYS OGS; as well as the Honda Hybrids, including the Insight, Civic and Accord.

Vehicle Name: FCX
Demonstration Vehicle: Honda FCX
Electric: Hydrogen Fuel Cell

Vehicle Name: 2004 Civic Hybrid
Demonstration Vehicle: 2004 Honda Civic Hybrid
HEV: Gasoline + Battery

Vehicle Name: 2003 Insight
Demonstration Vehicle: 2003 Honda Insight
HEV: Gasoline + Battery

Vehicle Name: 2005 Honda Accord
Demonstration Vehicle: 2005 Honda Hybrid Accord
HEV: Gasoline + Battery


Vehicle Name: Bio SMART (2005 SMART)
Vehicle Number: 10
Team Name: Quebec Advanced Transportation Institute (ITAQ)
Providence: Quebec, Canada
ICE: Biodiesel (B20)
The Quebec Advanced Transportation Institute (ITAQ) team wants to demonstrate a fun to drive eco-friendly car. The SMART is a production vehicle which, when powered with biofuels, can deliver substantial reductions in climate change emissions and air quality improvements. Quebec hosts one the largest biodiesel producers in North America using feedstock mainly from recycled source and this is an important R&D niche for the ITAQ.

Vehicle Name: S&S AutoSport Prius
Vehicle Number: 70
Team Name: S&S AutoSport
State: Kansas
ICE: 2000 Toyota Prius, Gasoline + Battery
This is the 5th year for this 2000 classic Prius to compete in the Tour de Sol. The vehicle has been trouble free for 60,000 miles and delivers a consistent 45 mpg in daily driving. The owner is a faculty co-advisor to the University of Tulsa's Hurricane Motor Works HEV team that has built 3 hybrids since 1993 and has competed in the Tour de Sol for 7 years.

Team Name: Toyota Motor Sales, USA
Demonstration Vehicle: 2005 Lexus RS 400h
HEV: Gasoline + Panasonic NMH
Toyota is committed to environmental responsibility through the design and development of cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles. We will continue to focus on developing innovative and practical technologies with minimal impact on the environment.

Team Name: Toyota Motor Sales, USA
Demonstration Vehicle: 2005 Highlander
HEV: Gasoline + Panasonic NMH

Vehicle Number: 12 Vogelbilt
2004 Ford F250 diesel pick-up
ICE: Biodiesel (B100)
Team Name: Vogelbilt
This year Vogelbilt is using 100% renewable energy in a new 2004 Ford F250 6.0L Diesel. This truck has been modified for increased fuel economy and also has a generator on the engine PTO to produce electricity.

Additionally, Vogelbilt's electric motorcycle will be on display during the Tour de Sol. The motorcycle was part of the Eco Trekker TV series.


INDEPENDENT DIVISION: light duty vehicles

Team Name: Valence Technology, Inc.
Powered by the Valence U-Charge* Power System, this concept plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) is a fully functional concept car based on a 2004 Toyota Prius that was modified by EnergyCS. Because the Valence battery offers much more energy than batteries traditionally used in hybrid vehicles, it allows significant amounts of zero-emission driving and fuel efficiencies of 120-180 mpg.

STUDENT DIVISION: light duty vehicles

Vehicle Name: Hybrid Attack
Vehicle Number: 2
Team Name: West Philly EV Team (High School)
State: Pennsylvania
HEV: kit car conversion, Biodiesel + Battery PbA
The West Philadelphia High School Electric Vehicle Team is returning for its fifth Tour de Sol. This years vehicle, named "The Hybrid Attack", has been a two year project. This hybrid "super-car" has over 300 hp and achieves more than 50 mpg. The front wheels are driven by an AC propulsion electric motor and the rear wheels are driven by a Volkswagen TDi burning biodiesel.

Vehicle Name: Viking 32
Vehicle Number: 32
Team Name: Western Washington University Hybrid Club
State: Washington
HEV: Purpose-built, Bio-methane (CNG) + Panasonic NMH
With funding from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration, students and faculty at Western Washington University's Vehicle Research Institute built Viking 32 to demonstrate the first automotive use of carbon-fiber Viking 32 offers survivable front impact protection at up to 80 kph. In addition, side impact and roof strength exceed United States Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

Vehicle Name: Viking 23
Vehicle Number: 23
Team Name: Western Washington University Hybrid Club
State: Washington
HEV: Purpose Built, Biodiesel + SAFT NMH
Viking 23 is designed and built by students and staff at the Vehicle Research Institute at Western Washington University. In 1990 a new body was designed by students and built out of carbon fiber. It uses Biodiesel a renewable fuel for its IC Diahatsu engine which powers the rear wheels. The front wheels are powered by a brushless DC UQN motor thus giving it 4 wheel drive.


INDEPENDENT DIVISION: light duty vehicles

Vehicle Name: Maya 100
Vehicle Number: 19
Team Name: Electrovaya
Providence: Ontario, CA
Electric: 2002 Tracker conversion, Battery: Electrovaya LiIon
Electrovaya has developed a long-range, ultra-safe, low cost zero-emission electric vehicle drivetrain based upon its proprietary Lithium-Ion SuperPolymer® battery technology and several unique system designs. Showcased in a 5-passenger compact SUV, it solves the Achilles heel of electric vehicles with a range of up to 230miles.

Vehicle Name: The Olympian
Vehicle Number: 16
Team Name: Burlington County Electechs
State: New Jersey
Electric: (Battery: GNB PbA)
"The Burlington County Electechs" includes students and instructors from Burlington County Institute of Technology (BCIT) and Burlington County College (BCC.) They are entering the Olympian, an electric vehicle recently donated by Cinnaminson High School. The team is committed to preparing students for vocations in the high tech automotive and related industries, including the economic, social, and heath related benefits of greener transportation.


STUDENT DIVISION: light duty vehicles

Vehicle Name: The Lorax
Vehicle Number: 45
Team Name: Methacton Electric Car Club
State: Pennsylvania
Electric: 1999 "Lomax" kit car conversion, (Battery: Optima PbA)
The Methacton Electric Car Club is made up of males and females ranging from 9th to 12th grades. Our mission is to explore alternative energy resources one car at a time while providing hands-on learning about alternate power sources for science, engineering, and trade students and the general public. In addition to building a vehicle the team created computer generated fundraising materials, and community outreach.

Vehicle Name: Woodstock
Vehicle Number: 56
Team Name: St. Mark's Electric Vehicle Club
State: Massachusetts
1994 Ford Ranger conversion
Electric: (Battery: Trojan PbA)
"Woodstock" is a true zero emission vehicle. It runs on 100% renewable electricity! This yellow 1994 Ranger was converted to run on battery power by high school students at St. Mark's School. Woodstock's batteries recharge overnight with wind-generated electricity from the grid. Built by physics students, the project gives them an opportunity to explore what engineering would be like, and the importance of efficiency.

Vehicle Name: Sola Rola
Vehicle Number: 50
Team Name: Tandem Friends School
State: Virginia
Electric: (Battery: Optima PbA)
The Tandem Friends Schools vehicle is a single person, solar charged commuter car. It was designed and built by the 16 students of the Conceptual Physics class. The hope is that involvement in a far-reaching project such as this will facilitate learning the basics concepts of physics.

(No photo yet.)


STUDENT DIVISION: light duty vehicles

Vehicle Name: Phantom Sol
Vehicle Number: 66
Team Name: U. Maine Solar Vehicle Team
State: Maine
Electric: Purpose-built (Solar + Battery: Trojan PbA)
The Phantom Sol was created in 2001 to dispell the myths that electric vehicles are impractical, weak, expensive and not much fun to drive. Originally a GMC-S15 pickup, this car has been drastically re-engineered to produce an economical and powerful vehicle with exceptional performance and sleek appearance.

Vehicle Name: Revolution Ride
Vehicle Number: 53
Team Name:
State: Maine
Electric: 1986 VW Wagon conversion (Battery: PbA)
Since 2002, when students from Maine's smallest public high school put their Vanagon Syncro electric vehicle on the road, the van has become an indispensable daily driver and teaching tool for the school. The 4wd, 7 passenger van is charged by a 5.2kW net-metering photovoltaic array.


STUDENT DIVISION: one-person light duty vehicles

Vehicle Name: Sunpacer
Vehicle Number: 92
Team Name: Cato-Meridian High School Technology Team
State: New York
Electric: 1992 Purpose-built (Solar + Battery: Ovonic NMH)
Since 1992 the SunPacer has participated in the Tour de Sol every year, and captured first place in the One-person Solar category 10 times. This student engineering project aims to improve vehicle efficiency each year. It presently has a range of 80 miles, top speed of 60 mph., and a demonstrated efficiency of 218 miles per equivalent gallon of gasoline.

Vehicle Name: Zodiac
Vehicle Number: 7
Team Name: IHS Solar Car Team - W. Irondequoit High School
State: New York
Electric: 1999 Purpose-built, (Solar + Battery: Trojan PbA)
The Zodiac has been going strong for five years thanks to the commitment dedication and countless man hours poured into the vehicle. Through previous competitions we have proven our skills and and hope to wow the competition this year.

Vehicle Name: Solar Black Bear
Vehicle Number: 20
Team Name: U. Maine Solar Vehicle Team
State: Maine
Electric: 1986 Chevy S-10 conversion, (Solar + Battery: Trojan PbA)
The Solar Black Bear was created in the spring of 1999 and has been the Light-duty two-person Solar Commuter Champion for 6 years. The Solar Black Bear is a very practical and usable vehicle that demonstrates the team's enthusiasm and commitment to creating a better tomorrow for today.