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You are here: > News > May 21, 2005

2005 Tour de Sol skirts 100 mpg

Over 60 hybrid, electric and biofuel vehicles from throughout the U.S. and Canada demonstrated that we have the technology today to power our transportation system with zero oil consumption and zero climate-change emissions.

Adapted by Pure Energy Systems News

Sampling of Vehicles at 2005 Tour de Sol


ITAQ Smart Biodiesel


Western Washington University's entrants: Viking 23


Bassi Scientific Entries in the NEV Category


West Philadelphia High School, "Hybrid Attack"

GREENFIELD, MA, USA – During the National 2005 Tour de Sol – the 17th annual sustainable energy and transportation festival and competition held May 13-16 in Saratoga Springs and Albany, NY – over 60 hybrid, electric and biofuel vehicles from throughout the U.S. and Canada demonstrated that we have the technology today to power our transportation system with zero oil consumption and zero climate-change emissions. Each vehicle showed new ways to reduce our dependence on foreign oil while reducing harmful pollutants.

A modified hybrid vehicle, a Honda Insight driven by Brian Hardegen of Pepperell, MA, neared the 100-mile-per-gallon barrier over a 150-mile range. Two student teams, from Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA, and West PhiladelphiaHigh School in Philadelphia,PA, took top honors with their purpose-built hybrid vehicles, which use biodiesel instead of gasoline and produce 85% less climate-change emissions compared to a conventional 27 MPG gas car.

“Each year, the Tour de Sol highlights the largest innovations in alternative energy technology and advanced-fuel vehicles, showcasing the future of the clean energy and transportation industry,” said New York State Gov. George E. Pataki. “Over the last 10 years, we’ve invested unprecedented funding into the research and development of clean fuel technology and currently deploy more than 4,300 clean-fuel vehicles in our state-operated fleets. I’m proud that many of the cars and components featured in this year’s Tour de Sol are being developed right here in New YorkState, creating new markets and jobs for the 21st century while helping to clean our air and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”

“The students, businesses, New York State government officials, auto companies producing advanced vehicles, and people using new hybrid and biofuel vehicles in the Tour de Sol are the new American heroes of the 21st century,” said Nancy Hazard, executive director of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association in Greenfield, MA, organizer of the Tour de Sol. “Every American is a winner because of their efforts to design, build and use advanced vehicles that aim to reduce imported oil and climate-change emissions today - offering an alternative solution to the energy and climate-change crises that threaten life as we know it.”

Thousands of people came to see the vehicles and talk with the people participating in the three competitions held during the National 2005 Tour de Sol. There were 41 entrants in the new Monte Carlo-style Rally, with several participating in the Rally’s 100 MPG Challenge.

The top-placing production vehicles in the Monte Carlo-style Rally, over a minimum 150 mile range, were: 2 Honda Insights, one driven by Charles Sullivan, of Hanover NH, achieving 82 mpg, and one driven by Mike Lewis of Portland, ME, averaging 79 MPG; a biodiesel Volkswagen Passat driven by Jonathan Bartlett of Sterling, MA, delivering 77 MPG; and a Toyota Prius driven by Morgan Bardall with 64.3 MPG.  Unfortunately, no one achieved over 100 mpg on a 500 mi. range for the $5,000 award.

“We were very pleased by the performance of the various production vehicles entered in the Monte Carlo-style Rally and 100 MPG Challenge,” said James Dunn, CEO of the Center for Technology Commercialization in Westboro ,MA., event Co-sponsor.  The overall average performance of the 29Toyota and Honda hybrid sedans exceeded 60 MPG, with a modified Honda Insight from Brian Hardegen of Pepperell, MA, delivering almost 95 MPG and a “plug-in” Toyota Prius from Valence Technology Inc. in Austin, TX, averaging 102 MPG over a 150-mile range, using both Gasoline and Grid power. The average of the 5 biodiesel vehicles was nearly 53 MPG, including the 20 MPG average of the Ford F250 pickup truck entered by Vogelbilt Corp. in West Babylon,NY. Two remarkable production vehicles were new Ford Escape hybrid SUVs from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority as well as Rad Air in Parma,OH, achieving 35 and 43 MPG, respectively.

The most interesting overall vehicle was the novel “plug-in” hybrid demonstrated by Valence Technology as well as Energy Control Systems Engineering Inc. (doing business as Energy CS LLC) in Monrovia,CA. This is a modified Toyota Prius with a much larger battery pack than the normal Prius, and charged with external grid power.  On a 150-mile run, this vehicle achieved 102 MPG on the gasoline used, but also used 9 kilowatt-hours of electricity required to charge the special lithium-ion batteries, which cost less than $1 to recharge. Although this vehicle would be relatively expensive to buy if available today (due to extra battery cost) plug-in hybrids may become a viable future technology.  A 1996 Saturn SL1 equipped with a Hydrogen Boost system achieved a calculated 99.53 mpg. on a 150 mile course, but the driving practices were deemed unsafe by the judges.

In the Tour de Sol Championship, which showcases concept vehicles built by students and entrepreneurs as well as some production vehicles, all but two of the entrants approached zero oil use by powering their vehicles with biodiesel, electricity, solar or natural gas. Of these, St. Mark’s High School in Southboro, MA, and North Haven Community School, North Haven, ME, demonstrated true zero-oil consumption and true zero climate-change emissions with their modified electric Ford pick-up and Volkswagen bus, respectively, At home, they recharge their vehicles from wind and solar – demonstrating what can be done when electric vehicles are recharged by “clean electricity”, which can be purchased throughout the U.S.

Three top-placing teams -- West Philadelphia High School, Quebec Advanced Transportation Institute (ITAQ) in Saint-Jerome,Quebec,Canada, and WesternWashingtonUniversity in Bellingham,WA-- demonstrated incredibly low greenhouse-gas emissions by running their vehicles on biodiesel. The ITAQ entry got 67 MPG in a Mercedes SMART diesel vehicle.

The E-bike and NEV Competition attracted over a dozen vehicles ranging from recumbent electric tricycles, to stand-up scooters, electric bicycles, and 4-wheeled /4-passenger NEVs (neighborhood electric vehicles). What all these vehicles have in common is that they run on electricity and are designed to meet our needs for local “around town” trips. The incredible efficiency of these lightweight vehicles truly demonstrates what can be achieved in the field of fuel efficiency. Opti-Bike LLC in Boulder,CO, took first place with its pedal-assisted electric bike.

In addition to the vehicles participating in the National 2005 Tour de Sol, there were over 30 displays from auto, bus and NEV manufacturers, and business and government leaders, all working together to produce clean transportation solutions for the U.S., Canadaand beyond. Displays included: Toyota’s hybrid Prius, Highlander SUV and Lexus RX 400h; Honda’s three hybrid sedans -- Insight, Civic, and Accord -- its natural-gas Civic GX, and the FCX, one of its 30 hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles; natural-gas, propane and hybrid buses and trucks; emission-reduction technologies for new ceramic brakes; biodiesel suppliers; and lithium-battery manufacturers.

Monte Carlo-style Rally & 100 MPG Challenge

The Monte Carlo-style Rally was created this year to offer advanced-vehicle owners the opportunity to demonstrate what their vehicles (production-line or modified) can deliver as well as to compete for up to $10,000 in prizes. To compete for the 100 MPG Challenge (no entrant achieved that goal this year) entrants began at one of the 11 official stating sites around the U.S. and Canada and were required to drive a minimum of 500 miles to Stewart’s Shops in Saratoga Springs, NY. Other entrants traveled a minimum of 150 miles to Saratoga Springs, for other prizes. Key Monte Carlo-style Rally organizers are the AutomotiveCareerDevelopmentCenterand the Center for Technology Commercialization, with Stewart’s Shops and biodiesel supplier Environmental Alternatives providing the fuel for all the entries.

E-Bike and NEV Competition

The E-bike and NEV (neighborhood electric vehicle) competition was created last year by Run About Cycles in Sunderland,MA. E-bike and NEV manufacturers, distributors, entrepreneurs, hobbyists and students are invited to participate in this two-day event. This year, over a dozen entrants went through technical specification checks, displayed their vehicles and participated in a range events of one, two or three hours.

Tour de Sol & Tour de Sol Championship

Over a half million consumers have visited the Tour de Sol since its creation in 1989 by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association and over 40 million print- and electronic-media exposures accrue annually from the Tour. The Tour de Sol provides a key platform for vehicle manufacturers, students and entrepreneurs to demonstrate future designs and current products that aim to reduce oil and carbon emissions to zero. The event provides news media the opportunity to provide timely and topical updates on the status of sustainable energy and its role in mobility. This year, over a dozen teams participated in the Tour de Sol Championship, which began in 1989. This event aims to inspire students and businesses to design, build, showcase and use concept vehicles that push the envelope and work toward the ultimate goal of the Tour de Sol.

Coverage and Photos

The competition results are tabulated here:

An index of event coverage is posted here, with numerous links to photos:

See the main page of Tour de Sol 2005 Photos at

See especially:

Also the primary PR firm has one:

You will find all the main press releases there and some good pic’s.

The Boston Globe also has a site done by Meg Herbert, Automotive Producer at the website, participated in the Monte Carlo Rally and wrote four stories about the Tour. The first is at
with links to the others. Below are the first pages from the other three.

On the road hybrid-style

Many people may not know about the Tour de Sol, but for the people involved, it is a chance to showcase a true love of their hybrid vehicles and to be a part of an event to raise awareness of the modern marvel that is the hybrid car.

Here is a glimpse into what its like to drive in a car and event such as this.

Tour de Sol

Students, individuals and corporations attended the Tour de Sol over the weekend to showcase their efforts to design vehicles that approach zero carbon emissions and use renewable fuels.

Viking 23 is a student-built biodiesel/electric AWD hybrid sports coupe currently being designed and tested by students.

Monte-Carlo Rally

Hybrid and other low-emission vehicles lined-up recently for the Monte-Carlo Rally - an event in which participants drive a minimum of 150 miles to see who can get the best gas mileage en route to Saratoga Springs, NY.

Hybrid and alternative fuel vehicle owners participated in the event. Here are a few at the finish line.


The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the Center for Technology Commercialization are the event's Premier Sponsors. Key Sponsors are the U.S. Department of Energy, the New York Power Authority, Toyota Motor Corp., the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State Parks, American Honda Motor Co., Environmental Alternatives, and the Federal Highway Administration. The AutomotiveCareerDevelopmentCenter in Worcester,MA, was a key organizer of the Monte Carlo-style Rally.
Northeast Sustainable Energy Association

The Northeast Sustainable Energy Association, the nation's leading regional education and advocacy association, is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. NESEA aims to accelerate the deployment and use of renewable energy and energy efficiency by producing major sustainable-energy events that inspire and motivate large numbers of people to get involved and make a difference.

# # #


Adapted from press release by Nancy Hazard and James Dunn.


For more information on all of the winners in the National 2005 Tour de Sol, visit or contact NESEA at 413.774.6051.

Contact:Nancy Hazard, <email >, 413.774.6051 x18
James Dunn, <email >, 508.870.0042 x108

News Coverage

According to Google News > Tour de Sol as of 11:00 pm May 21, 2005

Local Students Win Tour de Sol
WPVI, PA - May 17, 2005
A one-of-a-kind sports car was put together using donated parts and enough ingenuity to create the winner of this years Tour de Sol competition, a racing meet ...
Tour de Sol marks mileage breakthrough for passenger car
Albany Business Review, NY - May 16, 2005
The accomplishment, said to be a first for a passenger car designed for everyday use, took place during the National 2005 Tour de Sol in which more than 60 ...
Valence Technology and EnergyCS Participate in Tour de Sol with ...
Business Wire (press release), CA - May 12, 2005
... Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq:VLNC) will participate in the Tour de Sol Championship Race and Monte Carlo-style Rally on May 13-16. Valence ...
Prius PHEV to Run in Tour de Sol Rally
Green Car Congress - May 12, 2005
The prototype Prius Plug-in Hybrid developed by EnergyCS and Valence Technology (earlier post) will participate in the Tour de Sol Championship Race and Monte ...
Student Race Team to Enter Tour De Sol Race with World's First ...
Autochannel - May 11, 2005
... School, will be leaving Philadelphia on Thursday, May 1, 20052, 2005 at 9:00 am to travel to Saratoga Springs, New York, to enter the 17th Annual Tour De Sol. ...
2005 Tour de Sol
Autoblog, CA - May 13, 2005
... Another car is built entirely of carbon fiber panels to reduce weight. The Tour de Sol will be held May 13-16 in Saratoga and Albany, NY. ...

EV World
Tour de Sol Entrants Compete for 100 MPG Prize
EV World, Nebraska - May 11, 2005
... 2005 – The two cars entered by Western Washington University’s Vehicle Research Institute are top contenders in the National 2005 Tour de Sol Championship. ...
100 mpg Hybrid Challenge: National Monte Carlo-Style Rally - May 18, 2005
Contest, with $10,000 in awards will be held May 13-14, in conjunction with the annual Tour de Sol, which features alternative energy vehicles. ...

TheDay (subscription)
Alternate-fuel Advocates Take To The Road in 17th Annual Tour De ...
TheDay (subscription), CT - 18 hours ago
... The cars are converging for the 17th annual Tour de Sol, a competition and car show that brings together green-minded grease monkeys and corporate types ...
2005 Tour de Sol Offers Solutions to Energy Crisis (press release) - May 4, 2005
(CSRwire) GREENFIELD, MA – The unsung heroes participating in the national 2005 Tour de Sol – America’s sustainable energy and transportation festival ...

EV World
Tour de Sol Features Clean Vehicles and 100+ MPG Rally
EV World, Nebraska - May 5, 2005
SYNOPSIS: Tour de Sol aims to demonstrate that we can reduce oil use and climate change emissions from the transportation sector, which uses two-thirds of the ...
Green vehicles to be displayed at annual Tour de Sol
Albany Business Review, NY - May 4, 2005
The display is part of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association's 2005 Tour de Sol at the Empire State Plaza. The free exhibition ...

EV World
Valence Technology and EnergyCS Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle Wins Awards ...
TMCnet (press release) - May 19, 2005
... Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq:VLNC) has won the hybrid category in the Tour de Sol's Monte Carlo-style Rally, which ended May 14. Valence ...
Electric Plug-In Prius Wins Hybrid Class in Tour de Sol EV World
all 5 related »
Advanced vehicles demonstrate zero oil-consumption, reduced ...
Boston Globe, MA - May 19, 2005
... Interest in this new technology is growing, and one group is highlighting these technical marvels in a yearly event called the Tour de Sol. ...
Fattah: Congratulations to Local School for Winning Design
U.S. Newswire (press release), DC - May 20, 2005
... Taking top honors in the National 2005 Tour de Sol, a nationwide competition that includes participants from Canada, underscores the creativity, discipline and ...
Auto academy is spared cut
Philadelphia Daily News, PA - May 19, 2005
... said that West Philadelphia High School's Automotive Academy, fresh off a weekend victory at the eco-friendly vehicle competition, the Tour de Sol, will remain ...
Student Race Team to Enter Tour De Sol Race with World's First ...
Auto Spectator - May 12, 2005
... High School, will be leaving Philadelphia on Thursday, May 12, 2005 at 9:00 am to travel to Saratoga Springs, New York, to enter the 17th Annual Tour De Sol. ...
Rally Showcases +100 MPG and Zero-Petroleum Vehicles
EV World, Nebraska - May 16, 2005
SYNOPSIS: Modified Honda Insight driven broke the 100-mile-per-gallon barrier over a 150-mile range in the National 2005 Tour de Sol. ...

Green grease monkeys show off cars
MSNBC - May 18, 2005
... The cars converged in upstate New York recently for the 17th annual Tour de Sol, a competition and car show that brought together green-minded grease monkeys ...
New EDrive Systems 'Plug-In' Hybrid Technology In National 2005 ... (press release) - May 12, 2005
(CSRwire) GREENFIELD, MA - The new EDrive Systems "plug-in" hybrid technology will be demonstrated during the National 2005 Tour de Sol's 100 MPG Challenge. ...
NFA solar team takes first place
Mid-Hudson News, NY - May 18, 2005
The Newburgh Free Academy Solar Racing Team took their newest vehicle, a solar bike, and there ebike(electric bike) to the Tour De Sol in Saratoga this past ...

See also

Page posted by Sterling D. Allan May 18, 2005
Last updated December 24, 2014





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