The star at last week’s Philadelphia Auto Show wasn’t a sports car or an economy car. It was a sports-economy car â€” one that combines performance and practicality under one hood.
But as CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman reports in this week’s Assignment America, the car that buyers have been waiting decades [for] comes from an unexpected source and runs on soybean bio-diesel fuel to boot.
A car that can go from zero to 60 in four seconds and get more than 50 miles to the gallon would be enough to pique any driver’s interest. So who do we have to thank for it. Ford? GM? Toyota? No â€” just Victor, David, Cheeseborough, Bruce, and Kosi, five kids from the auto shop program at West Philadelphia High School.
The five kids, along with a handful of schoolmates, built the soybean-fueled car as an after-school project. It took them more than a year â€” rummaging for parts, configuring wires and learning as they went. As teacher Simon Hauger notes, these kids weren’t exactly the cream of the academic crop.
“We have a number of high school dropouts,” he says. “We have a number that have been removed for disciplinary reasons and they end up with us.”
One of the Fab Five, Kosi Harmon, was in a gang at his old school â€” and he was a terrible student. The car project has changed all that.
“I was just getting by with the skin of my teeth, C’s and D’s,” he says. “I came here, and now I’m a straight-A student.”
To Hauger, the soybean-powered car shows what kids â€” any kids â€” can do when they get the chance.
“If you give kids that have been stereotyped as not being able to do anything an opportunity to do something great, they’ll step up,” he says.
Stepping up is something the big automakers have yet to do. They’re still in the early stages of marketing hybrid cars while playing catch-up to the Bad News Bears of auto shop.
“We made this work,” says Hauger. “We’re not geniuses. So why aren’t they doing it?”
Kosi thinks he knows why. The answer, he says, is the big oil companies.
“They’re making billions upon billions of dollars,” he says. “And when this car sells, that’ll go down â€” to low billions upon billions.”
More energy breakthroughs in the major media
that should have been headline news (verbatim quotes from articles)
Iceland the First Country to Try Abandoning Gasoline
January 18, 2006, ABC News
Iceland has already started…turning water into fuel â€” hydrogen fuel. Here’s how it works: Electrodes split the water into hydrogen and oxygen molecules. Hydrogen electrons pass through a conductor that creates the current to power an electric engine. Hydrogen fuel now costs two to three times as much as gasoline, but gets up to three times the mileage of gas, making the overall cost about the same. As an added benefit, there are no carbon emissions â€” only water vapor.
Fuel’s paradise? Power source that turns physics on its head
November 4, 2005, The Guardian (one of the UK’s leading newspapers)
It seems too good to be true: a new source of near-limitless power that costs virtually nothing, uses tiny amounts of water as its fuel and produces next to no waste. Randell Mills, a Harvard University medic who also studied electrical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, claims to have built a prototype power source that generates up to 1,000 times more heat than conventional fuel. “We’ve got 50 independent validation reports, we’ve got 65 peer-reviewed journal articles,” he said. “We ran into this theoretical resistance and there are some vested interests here.
Magnetic energy? Perhaps
September 7, 2005, San Francisco Chronicle
“All we know is that we’re seeing more energy output than input. Does Goldes realize what’s he’s saying — that he’s perhaps discovered a clean, inexhaustible energy source? “That’s exactly what it appears to be,” he answered. A handful of other companies worldwide are believed also to be pursuing zero-point energy via magnetic systems. One of them…is run by a former scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. According to Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine, the Pentagon and at least two large aerospace companies are actively researching zero-point energy as a means of propulsion.
Solar Challenge Finishes in Calgary
July 28, 2005, Open Source Energy Network/Detroit News
http://www.detnews.com/2005/schools/0507/28/01-262474.htm – Detroit News (article removed late 2005)
http://wwmt.com/engine.pl?station=wwmt&id=18269&template=breakout_local.html – CBS affiliate
The ten-day solar car race from Austin to Calgary came to a successful finish yesterday. U of Michigan takes prize, finishing the 2500-mile course in 54 hours. They also set a record by averaging 46.2 mph in this, the world’s longest solar car race.
Eco-car more efficient than light bulb
July 5, 2005, CNN
The hydrogen-powered Ech2o needs just 25 Watts — the equivalent of less than two gallons of petrol — to complete the 25,000-mile global trip, while emitting nothing more hazardous than water. But with a top speed of 30mph, the journey would take more than a month to complete. Ech2o, built by British gas firm BOC, will bid to smash the world fuel efficiency record of over 10,000 miles per gallon at the Shell Eco Marathon. The record is currently….5,385 km/per liter [over 12,000 mpg!].
Advanced vehicles demonstrate zero oil-consumption, reduced emissions
May 18, 2005, Boston Globe
http://www.boston.com/cars/news/2005/may/0518_tourdesol.html (article removed late 2005)
http://www.evworld.com/view.cfm?section=communique&newsid=8474 (includes copy of above article)
Top prize for the Monte-Carlo Rally went to a modified Honda Insight [which] broke the 100-mile-per-gallon barrier over a 150-mile range. The car actually got 107 miles-per gallon. St. Mark’s High School in Southboro, 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.
Fans of GM Electric Car Fight the Crusher
Washington Post, March 10, 2005
GM agrees that the car in question, called the EV1, was a rousing feat of engineering that could go from zero to 60 miles per hour in under eight seconds with no harmful emissions. The market just wasn’t big enough, the company says, for a car that traveled 140 miles or less on a charge before you had to plug it in like a toaster. Ted Flittner, a…Costa Mesa industrial engineer…said, “they have such a brilliant solution they’ve developed. They’ve put it on the market and proved it works. People still want it and they’re taking it away and destroying it.”
100 MPG Car Heralded by London Times in 2002 – Where is it now?
December 2 , 2004, WantToKnow.info/London Times
http://www.WantToKnow.info/carmileage – WantToKnow.info (includes text of London Times article)
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,588-451038,00.html – London Times (article removed in 2005)
The Toyota Eco Spirit was the talk of the fuel economy car industry in 2002. At over 100 MPG and with the lowest exhaust emissions and a very reasonable sticker price, the Eco Spirit’s debut was widely anticipated. (see London Times article). What happened to it?
1908 Ford Model T: 25 MPG, 2004 EPA Average All Cars: 21 MPG
Detroit News/WantToKnow.info, June 4, 2004
Ford’s Model T, which went 25 miles on a gallon of gasoline, was more fuel efficient than the current Ford Explorer sport-utility vehicle — which manages just 16 miles per gallon.
Note: The last article above is an excellent summary of eye-opening contradictions which have received very little media coverage, including links to major media articles to back up the facts presented. And for an excellent, two-page summary of the entire energy cover-up: http://www.WantToKnow.info/newenergysources
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