May 16, 2006

2006 Tour De Sol entrants average 3.5 L/100 km

Saratoga Spa, New York – The 2006 Tour de Sol, the 18th annual green car event organized by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA), wrapped up last weekend, with entrants demonstrating an average of 3.5 L/100 km (80 mpg Imp). That figure is 140 per cent above the current CAFE average for fuel efficiency in the U.S.

The Tour de Sol consists of several events that challenge students, independent teams and auto manufacturers to build one-of-a-kind or production vehicles that reduce gasoline use and work toward zero climate change emissions.

In the Monte Carlo-style rally, grand prize winner Wayne Gerdes of Illinois drove a stock Honda Insight from Chicago to Saratoga Spa, New York on a single tank of gas, achieving 90.4 mpg (2.6 L/100 km, or 108 mpg Imp). Other Insights in the competition sported turbochargers, plug-in charging, and a fifth wheel powered by an electric motor.

In the alternative fuel division of the rally, Homeland Energy Resources Development drove a Honda GX on compressed natural gas; Greasecar Vegetable Fuel Systems entered an Austin Mini converted to run on 100 per cent vegetable oil; and the Gavin Watson team drove a 1973 Porsche 914 powered by 100 per cent soybean oil.

In the Tour de Sol Championship, the West Philadelphia High School team took top honours with a purpose-built sports car that accelerates from zero to 96 km/h in 5.5 seconds, with a fuel economy of 55 mpg (4.2 L/100 km, or 67 mpg Imp).

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