Jeremy Proffitt

Jeremy Proffitt

Monday, 14 September 2009 18:59

EVX Focus

An everyday vehicle for young, urban drivers.

[KYW-1060 Radio] The Philadelphia-born head of the Environmental Protection Agency toured a hotbed of green technology on Monday, in the auto shop of West Philadelphia High School. EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, recently appointed by a president promising change, wants to change absolutely nothing for a group of West Philly High auto engineering students who have been stunningly successful. West Philly High's Academy of Automotive and Mechanical Engineering, which has already won three solar car design competitions, is now a surprise contender in the $10-million "X-Prize" competition for a 100-mpg (or better) car, facing some heavily moneyed engineering think tanks. Student Jacques Wells described some of the students' work: "The first is our four-passenger Ford Focus powered by eletricity and biobutanol, which is a second-generation biofuel that has many advantages over ethanol. The second vehicle is a factory five GTM sports car, powered by the same electric motor and battery pack that would be colupled with a Volkswagon TDI engine that would run on Pennsylvania biodiesel." Jackson (facing away from camera above) is impressed with the level of savvy at West Philly High: "I go all over, talking to adults, trying to make them get it, and these kids were telling me, 'Well, it's not just about what we build. It's about making sure it's something people want to buy.' Listen, at this point, we know the green economy's coming. These kids are ahead of the race." Team director Simon Hauger started this program 11 years ago as a way of challenging the kids, but now has three Tour de Sol solar car championships under his belt: "I never imagined that we'd be the first team of color in the largest alternative vehicle race in the country. I never imagined that we'd beat teams like MIT and private race teams and even corporations. I never imagined that the X-Prize competition would come to pass and that we'd be ranked in the top ten teams.

[Philadelphia Inquirer] Lisa Jackson could only grin in amazement as she climbed into the driver’s seat of the best little car that West Philly — and maybe just about anybody, anywhere — has ever made. She was at the West Philadelphia High School Academy for Automotive and Mechanical Engineering, and the red sports car, the Hybrid K-1 Attack, has been proven to get 60 miles per gallon on biodiesel and has get-up that will make you go-go. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s new administrator, formerly head of New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection, was in town earlier today and made it a point to come to the school to congratulate the members of its Hybrid X team... “Ideas like these will determine our country’s future,” Jackson told the students and an assortment of dignitaries, from Chaka Fattah to Lisa Nutter. Noting that the nation’s auto industry was “in a little trouble right now,” Jackson told the students, “you are the key to the ideas that will bring them into the future.” She said they were clearly “ahead of the curve. You know first-hand that we don’t have to choose between a healthy green environment and a healthy green economy.

[NBC 10 Philadelphia] Designing a car that can run 100 miles on a single gallon of gas is not an easy task, but for a group of high school students from West Philly, it seems to be a piece of cake. The team has beaten out all the automakers and hopes they can do it again for the $10 million X Prize.

[6-ABC Philadelphia] Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson came to West Philadelphia High School's auto garage today to see first hand the award-winning cars a group of teenage students are producing. The school's Electric Vehicle X-Prize teams are building hybrids that can go from zero to sixty in less than 4 seconds and get 100 miles per gallon. They have already beat companies like Toyota and Honda by building the world's first hybrid supercar. Now they're poised to be a top contender for the X Competition next spring which carries a $10 million prize. "There's so much to gain for urban youth and people around the world jumping on the green economy," said sophomore Azeem Hill. "So many people need jobs." The EVX team started 11 years ago as an after-school program. The students have a budget of about $200,000. The big question is, how are they beating companies with millions at their disposal? "It's the fact that we're not a big established company and not complicated," said senior Eric Yates. "But we're showing the world that if you understand the basics, look what kids in inner city Philadelphia - and youth all over - can do." These humble kids say they're just trying to drive the market forward and open doors for inner city workers. EPA Administrator Jackson had nothing but good things to say. "The president has said the green economy has to touch everyone," she said during her visit today. "This is a great example of the administrators, teachers and...

[CBS-3 Philadelphia] It's not everyday a member of the President's cabinet stops by your school, but EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson recently honored a group of West Philadelphia High School students helping to build a greener future. This West Philly Hybrid X Team is one of over 100 teams from 11 countries vying for the X prize, an international competition aimed at designing and building a fuel efficient car that can get 100 miles per gallon and can eventually be marketed and sold.

In a speech to students at a Durham, NC high school, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said that "one of the most interesting and innovative clean energy projects I’ve seen was being done by high school students." Administrator Jackson goes on to detail her visit with the West Philly Hybrid X Team in May 2009.

Popular Mechanics ran an update of their May 2008 article on the top contenders for the Progressive Automotive X-Prize to see where they were a year later. Only 9 of the 10 original teams remained in their top picks, with the West Philly Hybrid X Team featured prominently among them.

The West Philly Hybrid X Team and Philadelphia Academies, Inc. are privileged to partner with the EPA to advance environmental education and to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need for the new Green Economy.

Monday May 11, was an exciting day for the West Philly Hybrid X Team. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson visited the West Philadelphia High Auto Academy to talk about the Team's work.

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