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News of  May 23, 2000

DaimlerChrysler's EPIC competes in National Electric Vehicle Road Rally; Progress Can Be Followed On The Internet
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Auburn Hills, Mich. - DaimlerChrysler's EPIC (Electric Powered Interurban Commuter) electric minivan is a competitor in this week's American Tour de Sol, and the progress of the vehicle in the annual road rally for electric and advanced technology vehicles can be tracked via the Internet.

Chrysler_Electric_Minivan-EPIC

Photo: DaimlerChrysler

One of the two EPICs in the New York-to-Washington event is equipped with an Air Link Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) modem and receiver, and its precise position along the route will be mapped in real time. The EPIC is one of the five vehicles in the event whose location will be constantly mapped and displayed on the Web site of the Tour organizer, the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) in Greenfield, Massachusetts. NESEA Web site can be located at www.nesea.org.

The site will also show current scores for each of the approximately 50 vehicles in the competition, ranging from vehicles produced by major manufacturers such as DaimlerChrysler to one-of-a-kind vehicles designed and built by high school and college students. The five-day rally began in New York on Sunday, May 14, and ends at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, May 18.

The EPIC is the electric version of DaimlerChrysler's popular Dodge Caravan minivan. More than 200 EPICs are in use in California and New York State, including U.S. Postal Service offices and Xpress Shuttle at Los Angeles World Airport. The two EPICs are being driven in the Tour de Sol by students from Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Michigan.

The EPIC took first place for Customer Acceptability at the 1999 Tour de Sol.This is the first time that a high-tech, automated scoring system, including GPS timing, has been used for the NESEA Tour. The automated scoring and the mapping of the five vehicles is being done by ENSCO, Inc., and advanced technology consulting firm headquartered in Springfield, Virginia.

DaimlerChrysler is a major sponsor of NESEA's American Tour de Sol, now in it s 12th year. The competition is intended to encourage the design and manufacture of "green" vehicles that meet the demands of the buying public. Competing teams are scored on reliability, range, acceleration, handling, fuel economy and emissions.

 DaimlerChrysler will be displaying and offering test drives in the EPIC and a prototype Dodge Durango gas-electric hybrid sport utility vehicle. The Durango hybrid is powered by DaimlerChrysler patented Through-the-Road powertrain which includes a V-6 engine and electric motor. The hybrid achieves the performance of a V-8 equipped vehicle with 20 percent better fuel economy.

(May 17, 2000)

 

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