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Plug in vehicle advocacy group Plug In America has given $15,000 each to four California schools for their 2009 Formula Hybrid race vehicle programs. The money comes from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and will be used to build and design the small plug-in racers (2007 teams and vehicles seen above). The four schools are:
  • Cal Poly Pomona
  • Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
  • UC Irvine
  • UCSD
The race, officially called the Formula Hybrid International Competition, takes place early next month (May 4-6) in Loudon, New Hampshire. The Formula Hybrid race developed out of the Formula SAE competition in 2003 after Dartmouth College students discovered that the SAE race disallowed hybrids, PIA said in their press release (pasted after the jump).


[Source: Plug In America]
Photos Copyright 2007 Jay Friedland


PRESS RELEASE:

PLUG IN AMERICA AWARDS GRANTS TO SUPPORT FORMULA HYBRID COMPETITION

Plug In America has awarded grants of $15,000 each to student teams at Cal Poly Pomona, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, UC Irvine and UC San Diego to design, build and race plug-in hybrid cars in the 2009 Formula Hybrid International Competition. The grants, intended to encourage engineering innovation at California colleges and universities, were funded by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

"We are proud to make these grants to outstanding student teams at Cal Poly Pomona, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, UC Irvine, and UCSD," said Jay Friedland, Legislative Director of Plug In America. "We were particularly impressed with the rigor and ingenuity of this year's projects and gratified to see the growing interest in electricity use for transportation."

This year's Formula Hybrid International Competition will be held May 4-6 in Loudon, NH, at the New Hampshire International Speedway. It is organized by the Dartmouth College Thayer School of Engineering.

"We are delighted to see a boost in the number of California schools joining Formula Hybrid this year," said the event's director, Douglas Fraser, a Thayer School of Engineering research engineer. "Once again, students have met the challenge with creativity and innovation, which we now need more than ever. I'm confident that the new teams from Cal Poly Pomona, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and UC San Diego, as well the returning team from UC Irvine will add valuable dimension to the competition."

Said Khieu Hoang, Cal Poly Pomona's formula hybrid team captain: "With great minds from students of all majors, we are undertaking the build of our first-year vehicle. Our outstanding faculty advisors, Dr. Caffrey & Dr. Haghi, and great sponsors including Plug In America, will help lead us to victory."

Formula Hybrid is an offshoot of the highly successful Formula SAE®, a program sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers in which collegiate teams design, build and compete with formula racecars. Formula Hybrid originated in 2003 when Dartmouth engineering students began researching their first hybrid racecar in hopes of entering it in that year's Formula SAE competition. They developed a hybrid competition upon learning that the Formula SAE rules had been changed to disallow hybrids.

The competition is a sort of educational hybrid itself, bringing together applications of mechanical and electrical engineering. Both the SAE and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers are sponsors of the program, along with Plug In America and major automakers including Toyota, DaimlerChrysler and General Motors.

Under the program, students design and build an open-wheel, single-seat car that must conform to a strict set of rules, or formulas, that emphasize, encourage, and promote drivetrain innovation and fuel efficiency. In fact, a Formula Hybrid vehicle must use at least 15 percent less gasoline than a comparable standard Formula SAE racecar operated under the same conditions, a goal surpassed by many of the entries. Another guideline involves recycling: unlike Formula SAE, Formula Hybrid teams are encouraged to incorporate used racecar parts rather than build everything from scratch. Many teams see the Formula Hybrid competition as a perfect second-year project for students.

About Plug In America: Plug In America leads the plug-in vehicle movement. The nonprofit organization works to accelerate the shift to plug-in vehicles powered by clean, affordable, domestic electricity to reduce our nation's dependence on petroleum and improve the global environment. For more information: http://www.pluginamerica.org.

About Formula Hybrid: The Formula Hybrid International Competition, created in 2006, invites teams of undergraduate and graduate students to design, build, and race hybrid formula racecars. The event is organized by the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College. Founded in 1867, Thayer School unites engineering into a single, flexible department to facilitate innovative research and instruction. www.Formula-Hybrid.org <http://www.formula-hybrid.org>

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