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Re: [EVDL] A NEW more OPEN X-Priz - Electrify American Automotive Prize"

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Re: [EVDL] A NEW more OPEN X-Priz - Electrify American Automotive Prize"

We discussed this off and on with fellow competitors at the X PRIZE,
trying to determine what WE needed. A lot of the speeches at the X
PRIZE in Michigan seemed to be focused on "how do we save Michigan" or
"How do we save the auto industry". By and large the competitors were
looking around going "where are the car companies?" "Where are the
teams from Michigan?" In D.C. each of the 'wigs speakers missed out on
one of the major (and most important things) about EVs: They're more
fun than a barrel full of oiled monkeys (especially when it dawns on you
that you no longer have a clue what the daily price of gas is anymore,
or that it's been MONTHS since you've used a gas pump).

For those who choose to design fresh on 4-wheels, there is currently no
way to get around big money for manufacturing due to legally required
crash testing and "safety" requirements. (ok, you can kit-car it, but
then it's still for the hobbiest and leaves them in a lurch if they ever
sell as they are "the manufacturer of record")

HOWEVER, for those on two and three wheels, we need THE PEOPLE to be
exposed to it and buy in order to get numbers up so that we can produce
without relying on a donor vehicle from the industries that have teased,
reneged and failed to innovate AND deliver. My dream? An 11-passenger
electric "motorcycle", aka an electric version of Buckminster Fuller's
Dymaxion (with some improvements, of course!)

This is the biggest disappointment for me of the X PRIZE: THE PEOPLE
were specifically uninvited from the event -- it was a closed track.
These are some of the coolest and most unique vehicles on the road, all
together in one spot and people *always* (especially as we drove them
down the streets of Washington DC) stopped, shot photos, and walked up
to us and started asking questions. Folks located right near the track
in Brooklyn, MI for the large part did not know what was going on there
-- simply getting all the vehicles together and driving to the local
"old guys vintage car Friday night at Steak-n-Shake" would've lit up
that small town. But the vehicles were impounded for testing/insure
nobody cheated and made modifications during the night so this wasn't
possible :-(

I'm not into cars, and I'm not into big trucks and I don't like
racetracks. This summer, I hung out at a racetrack with no trees, no
shade and businesses looking to turn a huge margin on drunk racing fans.
AND I now own a 30' trailer and Big 20' Ford E350 Box truck. If your
idea of EV promotion is to mimic the X PRIZE and try and do more
"science" and "racing", then no thanks.

What we needed by the competitors as a group and what we need as a
society was more exposure, and then opportunities to put "butts in
seats". In a word, a chance to make converts.

So how to fix this? How to take disparate vehicles, make it some sort
of contest so there is a challenge AND get the exposure to the general

And the answer is simple, if you look outside the box (ie, US borders):

Tour de EV, de USA/North America (and hey, why not eventually THE
Americas?) with different "jerseys" similar to the Tour De France based
on who was leading in different performance categories.

In other words, a road rally, every summer, along historic routes such
as Route 66, Down the Mississippi, across the US, Up into Canada, along
the Pan America highway. Different route each summer. The stages would
be deliberately designed to be easily completed in a day (even an eBike
can do 60-80 miles or more in a day), so that once everyone reached
"town" there would be time for socialization and getting to know not
only one another, but the townsfolk as well and also designed in would
be 'time trials' -- who can haul the most people around the in-town
course for the most passenger miles. AFTER the folks got to ride in
several vehicles, THEN they could vote, but just on the vehicles that
they rode in -- this was also a shortcoming of the X PRIZE: people were
voting by and large on vehicles they'd never seen in person, let alone
ridden in. So I guess this was truly American-style voting (voting by
the masses intentionally kept in the dark ;-)

This gets both far more exposure, and more importantly Butts In Seats,
and the votes will actually mean something. People with EV's could join
in and drop out at any point along the way, as it's understood that real
Americans have real jobs (many X PRIZE competitors

We'd work with the CVB (Convention and Visitor's Bureau) of the
small-to-medium towns that we go to in order to arrange things such that
there would be a minimal cost to "competitors". The EVent would mean
more to these towns than they would to a larger city, as it would bring
vital tourism dollars, and small towns would jump at the chance to host
versus one of their nearby "competing" small towns.

Prize Money? We don't need no stinkin money. We do it like they do
SpeedWeek at the Bonneville Salt Flats: for pride. Those crazy fools
will kill themselves attempting to go over 200mph, all for honor of a
silly red hat -- that they have to buy themselves!!!

Now I'll freely admit that I'm a dreamer, and this would take several
logistics and tactical-minded people to pull off (and I'm not one of
those). And it may be something that initially you just glob onto an
existing Route 66 road rally and build from there.

But make no mistake, it would have a far bigger impact than the X PRIZE
on what the small EV businesses need, whether you're into conversions or
building fresh from the ground-up.

[email protected]

-----Original Message-----
From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]] On
Behalf Of Steven Lough
Sent: Sunday, September 26, 2010 2:56 PM
To: Electric Vehicle Discussion List RCVR; [email protected]
Subject: [EVDL] A NEW more OPEN X-Priz - Electrify American Automotive

YES, by all means. As I might have written already, one of our own
Pacific NW guys was shut out by mountains of red tape and paper work,
and entry fees.

Yet, with a (Highly modified Geo Metro) he built, went over 200 miles at

free way speeds, in a car ( Not counting his labor time...) he had
invested less than $5000. And with used LEAD Acid batteries yet...

Pictures at:
( )

Bill Moore of EV-World did a 24 minute Interview with Dave on his
accomplishment, and how he did it, some weeks ago. For those who
Subscribe to EV World, you can probably find the interview on his web

I know Dave Cloud is not ON the EVDL, but I am cc'ing him here, case any

of you would like to drop him an (off list) e-mail for more particulars.

Lee Heart and friends wrote:
>Maybe entrants would be free to license their ideas to
>> manufacturers who are also dissuaded from participating in the X-
>> Joke

That's an interesting idea! Should be discuss it some more?

I'd like to see it set up more like the NEDRA and the drag racers have
done. The goal is simple: Go 1/4 mile from a standing start as fast as
possible with an EV. No big entry fee. No elaborate rules. No
requirement to go to a certain place at a certain time to race
head-to-head. The "prize" is the bragging rights to say you hold the

Let's work out a similarly simple goal for our "Electrify American
Automotive" Prize.

Lee... If you have a Distance in the least time... You will have folks

breaking the law, I fear.

As part of a very modest entry fee, all vehicles could be fitted with
amp hour instruments, similar to the one Dave uses in all his World
Champion Electrathon racers, built by our own BSEneingeering (Bruce
Sherry Designes) at:

The contest could be as simple as covering 100 miles with the least
watt/hours. Course... the problem would be to rent/beg/borrow some
track, some where, where all the contestants would have an equally flat

Dave's run was far from that, from his house NE of Seattle, North on I-5

nearly 100 miles and back again...Up and over hill and dale...
Steven S. Lough, Pres.
Seattle EV Association
6021 32nd Ave. N.E.
Seattle, WA 98115-7230
Day: 206 524 1351
Cell: 206 850 8535
e-mail: [email protected]

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