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Testa Produce Delivery vehicle participating in 101 Celsius EV & Alt Fueled Rally, 15 Feb 2013
Fisker Karma.  
4 years ago I thought the EV industry needed to host an EV Rally in below freezing weather to eliminate talk about "Range Anxiety & Cold Weather issues", and since no one had hosted that below freezing EV rally, I had to make it happen.  The thought came when I read an article describing the 1st auto race in the USA, the 1895 Times-Herald race, the purpose of which was to prove to the public that the automobile was a better and less polluting way to move goods and services to market compared to the horse.  18" of snow fell two days prior to the event and below freezing weather settled on Chicago, which helped the public understand how superior the autos were.  The parallel to today's discussions of moving to electric & electrified vehicles was too much to ignore, combined with modifing the course to roll past the President's southside home, made it impossible to resist hosting, so The 101 Celsius Electrified and Alternative-fueled vehicle Rally was created and held 15 February 2013 and fifteen 2013 vehicles recreated the 1895 course

It didn't hurt motivation that I needed publicity for a Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign, but the EV Rally would have rolled regardless.

Participants in the first below freezing EV Rally:
Chevrolet Volt(s) -2
Fisker Karma
Ford C-Max
Hyundai Sonata Hybrid - first release to the public
Nissan Leaf
Mitsubishi iMev
Tesla Model S
Tesla Roadster
Toyota Prius C
Toyota Prius V
Toyota Prius PHev
Volkswagen Passat TDI
Via Motors Silverado
Testa Produce's Delivery vehicle by smith electric

The 1895 Course
The original 1895 course was roughly 51 miles and that was enough to prove to public that the automobile was better than the horse.

The 2013 Course
I felt 51 miles wasn't enough and I wanted to add a loop by President Obama southside home, to help make a point.  We started at McCormick Place, recreated the course and added the loop around Jackson Park past the President's home and back to McCormick Place for a total of 55.25 miles.

We left Chicago's McCormick Place at 10am, up to City Hall to drop off City Hall staff

The 30 minutes stop in Evanston was amazing. More than 100 citizens, the Evanston mayor, staff and Press braved single digit windchill to look at the 2013 vehicles.  Testa Produce's delivery truck was an amazing hit with everyone, as was the Fisker Karma- photos just don't do this vehicle justice. We were lucky to have a Representative from Chevrolet to handle everyone around the Chevy Volt and their questions.
The route then took us past the Chicago's "Center for Green Technology" where we stopped to refuel ourselves and the vehicles.  We brought a charger for the Testa Produce truck and were fortunate to plugin to 240V outlet at Christy Webber Landscaping located next to the Center for Green Technology.  Other vehicles plugging in to 120V outlets Tesla Model S, Nissan Leaf, Toyota PHEV.
The Mitsubishi IMev was crowded out from pluging in at the Center and so drove to the DC Fast charging station at Illinois Institute of Technology.  The vehicle came into IIT at under 5 miles of range, in 15 minutes the vehicle had 80% charge of its' 62 mile range and continued on the course.

The Rally rolled across Chicago’s west and south side across the Midway plaisance and around Jackson Park and President Obama’s Rally.  Our return loop was blocked by Chicago’s finest and so the Rally rolled north on Lake Shore Drive to 47th Street exit, so we could turn south again and roll past the President’s Hyde Park home.  The Rally then turned north on Martin Luther King Drive and finished at McCormick place.

The original purpose of the 1895 race was to prove vehicles were less polluting and ultimately a less expensive way to move people and goods compared to the horse.  An electric vehicle, the Morris & Solam "Electrobat" motocycle of Philadelphia PA won the Gold medal. The 1895 race is credited with advancing the US auto industry by 5 years.  Adding the historic perspective to today's discussions about CO2 pollution by comparing those discussions to the pollution discussions of 1895 were part of the overall theme.

The 101 Celsius Electrified and Alternative Fueled Rally vehicles traveled 55.25 miles in below freezing weather with a maximum of 45 minutes of recharging for any vehicle.  At twice the distance of the normal commute and on frozen snowy streets,  it is hoped that the 101 Celsius Electrified & Alt-fueled Vehicle Rally shows the public the vehicles are more than capable of moving them the distance needed in all seasons.

You can see photos taken during the Rally at the 101 Celsius fb page or my Google+ page

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (9+ / 0-)

    A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem.- Albert Einstein

    by bldr on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 03:54:41 PM PST

  •  Would have loved to have been there in my Volt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    However, it's a little far for me as I am in DC Burbs.

    I did take part in an EV rally in DC by Woodrow Wilson's house last year.

    Anything to raise public awareness of the EV movement is fantastic.

  •  Whats the tdi doing in there ? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    In 1996, Porsche was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and in 1999 posthumously won the award of Car Engineer of the Century.
    The Lohner-Porsche Mixte Hybrid (sometimes wrongly referred to as Löhner-Porsche) was the first hybrid vehicle developed by Ferdinand Porsche.

    In November 6–9, 1900, the Automobile Club of Great Britain and Ireland sponsored an electric vehicle endurance trial, of which the 4-wheel drive Lohner-Porsche was one of eleven entrants—one of three entrants Hart brought to the Chislehurst starting line. The first-place winner of the trial was a Louis-Kreiger car dubbed the 'Powerful'. Thanks to largely to its lighter weight and larger diameter wheels, it achieved a first run of 59 miles at an average of about 10 miles per hour. 'Le Toujours Contente' suffered tire failures on its 34 miles with Porsche at the wheel. One competitor stated, "there were inches of mud on the floors; rain came through the roof; the sheds were doorless and the cars and attendants were nightly exposed to the full force of wind and rain." Other electric vehicle entrants managed only 7 miles distance through the muddy rutted course. Ferdinand Porsche caught a severe cold, contributing to the vehicle's elimination from further competition.

    Drop the name-calling MB 2/4/11 + Please try to use ratings properly! Kos 9/9/11

    by indycam on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 05:26:27 PM PST

    •  The enemy of my enemy is my friend (0+ / 0-)

      the VW TDI a turbo diesel vehicle represented the new clean diesel segment.  The vehicle is capable of 90.8 mpg, done by a test driver here in Chicago's northern suburbs.  (The test driver is a professional driver, hyper-miler and owner of Cleanmpg dot something)
      It was an amazing vehicle, unbelievable torque and the driver display will tell you when to shift to get better mileage.

      I pitched this idea mid November last year and really had about 10 weeks to organize and implement.  I could have opened it up to home conversions, I could have tried to get every hybrid from every manufacturer, but success is built upon success; so when we do this next year, it'll be easier to get the Porsche.

      The Wheego electric vehicle, that was going to participate in the Rally was sold 5 days before the Rally.  
      A/C Propulsion had vehicles but couldn't make it before mid March, they'll be here next year.
      Left Coast Electric car was totaled in an accident.
      Nissan - no leafs left in the Marketing fleet

      The biggest hurdle in organizing this event came from vehicles being sold-out before the event.

      A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem.- Albert Einstein

      by bldr on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 07:39:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  When you use initials, (0+ / 0-)

    please spell them out at the beginning of your diary. Please.

    What's EV? Electoral Votes? Oh, maybe it's Electric Vehicle.

    "Stupid just can't keep its mouth shut." -- SweetAuntFanny's grandmother.

    by Dbug on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 09:28:47 PM PST

  •  ?? What would be a great cold weather challenge ?? (0+ / 0-)

    I'm interested in the communities ideas for an Electric Vehicle cold weather challenge.  
    Something that truly knocks back the haters.

    A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem.- Albert Einstein

    by bldr on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 04:19:24 PM PST

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