The San Diego Union-Tribune reports on the San Diego State University team that is one of 15 finalists in a competition sponsored by GM and the Energy Department to create a green SUV.
[Professor Jim] Burns and his team already have built an alternative-fuel sports car that gets 80 miles per gallon and packs a 260-horsepower engine that does 0-to-60 mph in seven seconds.
It was the cherry-red concept car named the Enigma that got SDSU into the semifinals of this big-stakes game.
We're the rebel, Burns said. We built a hot, fun, red sports car. That's the California in us. You have to build a car that's cool, or else nobody wants it.
He said his team built the Enigma from the ground up, unlike one of his competitors in the GM Challenge, the University of California Davis, which retrofitted an off-the-assembly-line Ford with a more energy-efficient engine.
Most commercially available alternative-fuel cars run on electricity or a combination of electricity and standard oil-based gasoline. The SDSU Enigma runs on a hybrid of electricity and biodiesel fuel, which is distilled from a biological-based source such as soybeans synthesized into usable fuel. Burns said he wanted a better fuel source than petrochemicals, and all the environmental and political pitfalls that come with that.
Thats very enticing. Some of you have asked about diesel hybrids. This is taking it even further. Ill see if I can find out more.