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,
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.
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.
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.