Go Green Cars!
Have you seen this bright green exotic car design yet? It was built by students competing for the X Prize —
Western Washington University team’s Viking 45 has a body akin to a Ferrari and the engine of a Honda Insight hybrid reports the Seattle Times.
The news source reported July 17 on a hot new green exotic car concept that students at the college have themselves designed.
“The students make up the only college team still in the running for the X Prize, an international competition designed to find a super-fuel-efficient car that will reduce Americans’ dependence on oil and change the future of transportation. The team will be in Detroit on Sunday for the competition finals. At stake: a $10 million prize for Western’s Vehicle Research Institute…” says the site.
Students put their money where their mouth was when it came time to head to competition.
The handful of Western Washington University students laughed when they realized they actually spent more money hauling their lightweight hybrid, called the Viking 45, to Detroit for the first leg of the competition than they would have if they’d just driven it — “because the car, which has a body akin to a Ferrari and the engine of a Honda Insight hybrid, gets 100 miles to the gallon.”
So what is the goal of the competition?
Forget about Cafe Cars legislation that says new cars must get at least 35.5 MPG to be considered fuel efficient by or before 2016.
These bright green designers have set their sites on protecting the environment and doing great things for the world economy before the peak oil crisis strikes and while watching the disasterous effects of the BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico strike.
Participating teams must build cars that get at least 100 miles to the gallon and can drive 200 miles at a stretch.
Already, the Bellingham team’s car has withstood grueling engine and driving tests, besting 125 other cars in two elimination rounds in Detroit.
The Western group is one of 15 teams competing in the last round. If they pass the final tests — “and we will,” said Eric Leonhardt, the professor in charge of the team — their car will get boxed up, sent to a lab and examined for two “torturous” months before they learn the outcome.
Which team is likely to win the $10 million?
The jury is still out, but suffice it to say that exotic car owners and those interested in the green car movement would be wise to keep their eyes on the results of the competition.
It’s likely boutique auto manufacturing giants and top auto companies alike will be looking very carefully at design concepts and engineering ideas and recruiting bright green minds to help re-vamp their own car company models with a bit more eco friendly insight.
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