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Event Calendar

World Biofuels Symposium
November 13-15, 2005
Beijing, China

2nd Annual Canadian Renewable Fuels Summit
December 13-15, 2005
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Hosted by:
Candadian Renewable Fuels Association

National Biodiesel Conference & Expo 2006
February 5-8, 200
San Diego, California
National Biodiesel Board

11th Annual National Ethanol Conference: "Policy & Marketing"
February 20-22, 200
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Sponsored by:
Renewable Fuels Association

22nd Annual International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo
June 20-23, 200
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

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Posted on  

April 27, 2001

13th Annual Tour de Sol Offers Most Diverse Mix of Environmental Technologies and Transportation Choices Ever

The U.S. electric vehicle championship road rally has a new name, and visitors will see the widest variety of new "clean and green" technologies and options ever assembled.

This year's event, the 13th annual, has been renamed "The Tour de Sol: The Great American Green Transportation Festival." But the name isn't the only thing that's brand new.

New vehicle categories and displays have been added to allow fuel-cell-powered vehicles, vehicles using renewably-produced fuels, electric bicycles, biking, and walking activities to be showcased. This will bring an even broader look at clean transportation options to the tens of thousands of people who will visit the many festivals during the week of May 19-26, 2001.

Many major auto manufacturers, specialty manufacturers and entrepreneurial ventures, non-profit organizations, and government agencies regard the Tour de Sol as a unique and valuable opportunity to showcase new environmental products to the general public; to test out-of-the-box ideas and innovations that address the most pressing energy and environmental challenges; and to educate youth and adults alike about how their transportation choices, now and in the future, can impact the health of our environment for future generations.

Vehicles on display manufactured by corporations include those built by Honda, Ford, DaimlerChrysler, Toyota, Solectria of MA, Advanced Transportation Technologies R&D; of Korea, Personal Electric Transport of NY, Orion Bus Company, and Vogelbilt Corporation of NY. The 2001 gas-electric Honda Insight, now in its second year on the U.S. market, will serve as the Tour pace car.

Several countries and American government agencies are also showcasing vehicles including China, Micronesia, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, the Massachusetts Port Authority, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. One of the most futuristic vehicles in the event, a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, is being brought by a New Jersey partnership of educational institutions and corporations.

Student entries have been an important part of the Tour de Sol since it began in 1989. Through this annual competition, thousands of students have had a rare opportunity to turn classroom knowledge into real-life engineering solutions. That tradition continues as more than half of this year's entrants are student teams. Universities represented include the University of Wisconsin, University of Tulsa, University of Maine, Clarkson, University of New Haven, University of Waterloo, Swarthmore, Rutgers, University of Texas El Paso, Lawrence Tech, University of Nebraska, Millersville University, Naugutuck Valley Community College, Central Connecticut State, New Hampshire Tech, and Vermont Tech. Secondary school teams include Bolton H.S. (CT), Cinnaminson H.S. (NJ), W. Philadelphia H.S. (PA), Falmouth H.S. (ME), Hopkinton H.S. (NH), Union-Endicott H.S. (NY), Cato-Meridian H.S. (NY), and Ethel Walker School (CT).

The advanced environmental technologies being demonstrated are the most diverse ever included in the Tour de Sol. The two major divisions are Production and Prototype with production vehicles being those brought by major manufacturers and prototypes including a variety of experimental, one-of-a-kind vehicles. Within these divisions there are numerous technologies including hybrid-electric (those that use more than one source of energy), battery-electric, fuel-cell-powered, solar electric, and vehicles designed to run on ethanol, a domestically-produced alternative to gasoline.

Despite their different reasons for getting involved in the Tour de Sol, one thing unites all the participants -- the ambitious pursuit of new ideas, innovations, and challenges to provide for a healthy environment for future generations, and the satisfaction of accomplishment that crossing the finish line brings.

During the weeklong event, there will be six major community festivals that celebrate energy efficiency, clean transportation, and environmental awareness. They are all free and open to the public. They take place in Waterbury, CT (May 19-21); Pittsfield, MA (May 22); Albany, NY (May 23); Greenfield, MA (May 24); Worcester, MA (May 25); and a finish-line celebration in Boston, MA (May 26).

Major sponsors include: the U.S. Department of Energy, American Honda Motor Company, the Connecticut Department of Transportation, the Massachusetts Division of Environmental Protection, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the Waterbury Region Convention and Visitor Bureau, and Texaco Ovonic Battery Company.

The Tour de Sol is organized by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA), the nation's leading regional association involved in promoting awareness, understanding, and development of non-polluting, renewable energy technologies. Headquartered in Greenfield, Massachusetts, NESEA has worked successfully for more than a quarter century in the fields of transportation, building construction, and renewable energy.


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