New York 2008: West Philly's Hybrid Attack makes other high schools look lame

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If the person being interviewed in the picture above looks a little bit young, well, that's because he is. He's a student at the West Philadelphia High School Academy for Automotive and Mechanical Engineering, which is fielding the youngest team of entrants in the Progressive Automotive X Prize.

I had a chance to speak with the teacher in charge of the program, Simon Hauger, who talked about the three (or four, depending on how you count) green vehicles the team has worked on over the past nine years. From an early converted Jeep(s) to the Hybrid Attack you see in the photo gallery, the team knows a few things about greening up a ride. The team took a K1 Attack and modified it to biofueled hybrid that won the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association's Tour de Sol twice. Can high school students win the Auto X Prize? They certainly have the passion, as Hauger describes. For the X Prize, the team is working on another vehicle, this one a plug-in diesel hybrid. The team says the car will exceed the 100 mpge requirement "without sacrificing style, safety or affordability." That's the dream, right?

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