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Automotive X-Prize Profile: Physics Lab of Lake Havasu
Over the next few months and at a casual, intermittent pace, I’m going to use this blog to profile official contenders in the Progressive Automotive X-Prize. I’ll provide links so interested readers can explore them further, and I encourage you to post your opinions of each contender, their technologies, and how you think they’ll do in this extraordinary competition.
This entry looks at Physics Lab of Lake Havasu, out of Arizona.
Physics Lab of Lake Havasu
Vehicle name: The Green Giant
Fuel(s): Electric, diesel, steam/waste, heat, solar PV cells, hydraulics
In the Mainstream class “specifications [are] derived from typical existing small, 5-passenger economy mixed-use vehicles.”
As you can see by their fuels list, this team is throwing everything under the hood for a cook-out. They say that their MPGe with the diesel generator is 50 mpg, which they boost to double that figure by using additional energy sources to charge the batteries. I have to quote them here because they say it so well: "Since electricity can be manufactured on the go, unlike fossil fuels, the additional energy contributed from the scavenging systems increases the efficiency." So their key technology is the ‘scavenging system’, a term worth embracing.
Goal: This team is out to defy at least one widely perceived notion in green vehicles—that they have to be lightweight. The Green Giant is a 4 wheel drive, full-size SUV with an electric drivetrain, and yes, it is green. Jolly green. Their goal is to show how their retrofitted drivetrain can benefit the many current monster vehicles on the road right now, such as F-150s, Suburbans and more. Hummer owners, this is your team.
Leader: Jim Stansbury. Stansbury—sorry, Dr. Stansbury (guy’s an anesthesiologist), has a physics background and, along with juicing people with Versed and Fentanyl, has been into cars for much of his adult life. The team is filled out with a collection of experts ranging from machinists to conversion specialists to a business developer, to name a few.
Financial backing: The Physics Lab has a number of sponsors: AutoGeek, Big-O tires, Arizona Racing Accessories, Havasu Regional Medical Center, Morphic Industries, the Lake Havasu C&V Bureau, Havasu Plastic Surgery, and Phoenix Analysis & Design Technologies (PADT).
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