Kids Build Soybean-Fueled Sports Car
High school kids (including drop-outs) design car that can go from zero
to 60 in four seconds and get more than 50 miles to the gallon on soy bean oil.
for CBS News coverage
(See link to video on right side of page)
West Philadelphia High School
Pure Energy Systems News
Feb. 30, 2006
I spoke this morning by phone with Simon Hauger who is the director of the West
Philadelphia High School auto program.
He said that his students have been working on this car for a couple of
years, and that they ran it in the Tour de Sol and won their division in May
2005. The 50 mpg mileage was well documented there.
They were then able to enter the car into the Philadelphia Car Show, where
the car was the star of the show.
The Philadelphia Inquirer ran a feature, which CBS News then noticed
and came to the school to run the feature which they aired a week ago.
Hauger said that the camera crews were there for an entire day and took four
hours of footage.
"You never know what they will select to include in their three minutes of
air time," he said.
The coverage had generated a lot of favorable media interest.
The question that gets asked over and over, he said, was "Why aren't the
major automobile manufacturers doing this?"
"It kind of begs the question," he said. "This is all
off-the-shelf stuff. These kids are not geniuses, and look at what they
have been able to come up with on a shoestring budget."
What's under the hood is a VW turbo diesel in the back, and an AC propulsion
electric motor in the front.
They're still working out some issues with the hybrid aspect of the car, and did
not use that in winning the Tour de Sol.
In other words, the technology exists in presently-manufactured automobiles to
achieve these kinds of efficiencies and power. Why aren't the major
automobile companies doing this as a matter of course?
Maybe they should take Hauger's course.
# # #
Noteworthy Input at Slashdot
community commentary on this development makes quite a few interesting points
- The high school kids have a website
gallery. The kids didn't build the car from scratch; it is a kit
car based on a Honda Accord chassis. It uses a 1.9L VW TDi (Turbo Direct
Injection) diesel (200hp) engine as its main power source driving the rear
wheels, and has a 200hp electric motor attached to the front wheels. The
electric motor is driven by a bank of ultracapacitors, so it has excellent
power for short bursts of acceleration, but when not accelerating the
vehicle is powered solely by the turbocharged diesel, so the mileage figure
is the same as what you would get if it was not a hybrid (actually it would
probably be better, especially since it doesn't do regenerative braking
- The Philadelphia Inquirer has a much more thorough article here.
They've also got a flash
presentation with exploded diagrams of the structure of the car.
- They bought a K-1
Kit car and modified it to run a 1.9L VW biodiesel engine for the back
tires and electric for the front. It's called "The Hybrid Attack"
and it won the hybrid and alternative fuel category in the 2005 Tour de Sol.
- The price of biodiesel is quite a bit higher than diesel, though in Europe
government subsidies of biodiesel, and taxes on diesel make it actually a
cheaper option for consumers.
- The cost on the environment as well as the food supply of growing large
quantities of soy for fuel needs to be taken into consideration.
Legumes are routinely rotated in fields to replenish the soil from other
- The VW Turbo Diesel engine being used by the students is inherently
efficient. The efficiencies they are seeing are being seen elsewhere,
taking other factors into consideration.
- The automobile industry must make their cars safe, which adds to weight,
and thus reduced mileage.
- The auto industry also has emissions regulations to grapple with (though I
have a hard time imagining that a car running so efficiently would have
Kids Build Soybean Fueled Sports Car
Posted by ScuttleMonkey
on Tuesday February 28, @10:36PM
from the why-give-up-a-cash-cow dept.
writes "High school students from West
Philadelphia High School have designed
a sports car that can go from zero to 60 in four seconds and
get more than 50 miles to the gallon on soy bean oil. CBS News
reports that this unlikely car was the star last week at the
Philadelphia Auto Show. Once again, are we seeing the fabled
instance of revolutionary technology coming not from the big
corporations, but from some unlikely garage. Maybe these guys
will open source their design."
R. Pastor, New Energy Congress
(Feb. 28, 2006)
Have you ever seen the movie Finding
Forester starring Sean
Connery and Rob Brown? I love
it when he says, Punch the Keys, referring to his 16 year old literary
prodigy, who is just beginning to be tutored by the famous Forester who was found
when Jamal Wallace attempted to rob Foresters apartment in the run down slum
neighborhood of New York. Forester
takes a shine to Wallace, reading his writings, making corrective and
instructive commentary on the young prodigys intuitive and pronounced
writing ability. Foresters
relationship with Wallace develops into a fruitful exchange of ideas and goals
of ultimate accomplishment, where both tutor and teacher are well rewarded.
This brings to mind a recent
CBS News program showing how stereotyped kids, who were deemed to be unable to
do anything, or anything good or useful for that matter, absolutely astounded
the modern industrial manufacturing world of production engineering.
They built a car that runs on soybeans, as a bio-diesel fuel.
And not just any car, a modern sports car, any avid racing entrepreneur
would be proud of. It can go from 0
to 60 in 4 seconds, and it gets 50 mpg. Simply
astounding. High School Drop-Outs
can do what Detroit cant.
# # #
Build Soybean Fueled Car - High School Drop-Outs Build Soybean
Bio-diesel Car From Scratch - That Go From Zero to 60 in 4 Seconds - at 50 mpg.
(CBS News; Feb 21, 2006)
little hybrid engine that could - W. Phila. High's team will display its
award-winning car at the auto show. (Philadelphia Inquirer; Feb. 5, 2006)
What is Bio-Diesel?
The Argument in Favor of
Hemp For Fuel
Hempoline instead of Gasoline
Cars That Could Run
Powering A Car On Waste
Hemp: The Renewable Resource
All About Hemp
Rising Gasoline Prices - Put
Hemp In Your Tank
Hemp Imports Run Afoul Of DEA
Let's Circulate the Plans
From: Michael Anderson <email >
Sent: Tuesday, February 28, 2006 8:15 PM
Subject: Soybean-Fueled Sports Car
Dear Mr. Pastor,
I just read your article
about the soybean fueled car. This is very exciting! What do you know about
duplicating the mechanics of this vehicle? This planet is in dire need of
vehicles like this so I would like a blueprint so to speak to spread this to
mechanics and others around the World to make something happen. It is very
apparent that neither Detroit or Washington are going to do anything in this
area so "we the people" have got to move forward without them. I
look forward to your reply.
All the Best,
Page posted by Sterling
D. Allan Feb. 28, 2006
Last updated March 01, 2006