The Roopod, poster-child of the event (named for Roo Trimble and Susan Hanna), was not quite drivable at race time, but was on display both in Greenfield and in Boston. This ultra sleek and light, 14 HP diesel-powered wonder will be a car to be reckoned with next year.
The Wood-gas Powered Truck
The wood-gas powered truck from 21st Century Motor Works (Dave Nichols and Sharon Roy) breezed in at 27.7 mpg, showing the viability of using a local, carbon-sequestering fuel source: ordinary cord wood.
Dirigo, a sleek diesel 3-wheeler clocked in at 88 MPGe (Miles Per Gallon equivalent) with a running cost of 2.9 cents per mile, showed the importance of good aerodynamics. This car had not only driven the 100 mile segment without back-up, but also the 450 mile round-trip from Maine.
The Lithium Porsche
MIT's electric vehicle team (Tyler Liechty, Peter Lamb and Dan Lauber) drove their lithium Porche in at an amazing 164 MPGe (plug-to-wheels) and 75 MPGe (wells-to-wheels). Once our electricity grid becomes more earth-friendly, this technology may lead all others. Many spectators, used to lead-acid technology, were awed as these students drove their Porche, with 15 automotive-sized batteries, from Cambridge to Greenfield on a single charge, then charged up with 220 VAC at the Ford dealership, and merrily drove back home. Without a doubt, the miracle battery we all dreamed of decades ago has arrived.
Dripping with sweat, Jory Squibb drove his gas-powered three-wheel Moonbeam across the line at 93 MPGe and 2.7 cents per mile cost. Built as a grocery-getter, it had never been driven far from Camden, Maine -- but it finished the race without incident, blasting its heater to keep the engine cool in the 90-degree heat.