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Tour de Sol Invites Broader Participation in This Year’s Event

The Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA), organizer of the Tour de Sol, is inviting invites anyone who drives a hybrid or flex-fuel ethanol vehicle, or uses biodiesel in their diesel car or truck, to join the Monte Carlo-style Rally and the new Fuel Efficiency Competition in the upcoming 18th annual Tour de Sol.

The Monte Carlo-style rally rewards miles per gallon, not miles per hour. Trophies are given to those who participate in the Drive-In Rally. Cash prizes and trophies are offered to hybrid and modified hybrid drivers who participate in the 200-mile drive from the Saratoga Spa State Park to Cooperstown, NY and back on the Friday, May 12 and demonstrate the highest fuel efficiencies that are at least 40% greater than EPA estimates for their vehicle.

People wishing to participate in the Monte Carlo-style Rally and Fuel Efficiency Competition can start at one of the official start sites including:

  • Balcones European Motors, Austin, TX
  • Cherry Run Automotive, Greenfield, MA
  • D.A.D.’s Auto, Beresford, SD
  • Gebbe’s Auto Care, Lansdale, PA
  • Haney Tire and Auto, West Plains, MO
  • Harriman Auto, Harriman, NY
  • Mastertech Automotive, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Pete’s Import Garage, Atlanta, GA
  • Progressive Asset Management, Wellesley Hills, MA
  • Rad Air Complete Car Care, Cleveland, OH
  • Ricks’ 36 Auto Service, Stillwater, MN
  • Scott’s Automotive, Des Moines, IA
  • Slipstream Autocare, Boulder, CO
  • Stock’s Underhood Spec., Belleville, IL
  • Tom’s Master Mechanics, San Diego, CA
  • Toyota Clifton Park, Clifton Park, NY
  • United Auto Sales & Service, Waterbury, CT
  • Westboro Toyota, Westborough, MA

People who do not live within 50 miles of a start site may start from their home after registering and calling in to NESEA.

Hybrid and biofuel vehicles are becoming increasingly popular because they can save consumers money at the gas pump and at the same time people feel good about the fact that they are helping reduce our country’s dependence on foreign oil and climate change emissions, and improving the air we breathe.

The outcome of the competition will be really interesting as many hybrid owners boast from 60 to over 90 miles per gallon.

—Nancy Hazard, Director of the Tour de Sol

Premier sponsors of the 2006 Tour de Sol are the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the Center for Technology Commercialization. Additional key sponsors include the New York Power Authority, the Saratoga Automobile Museum, Stewart’s Shops, New York State Parks, Eastern Biofuels, New York Department of Environmental Conservation, Toyota, the UK Trade & Investment, American Honda, Kurkoski Solar Electric, Westboro Toyota, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, E Magazine, EIN Publishing, and



Better yet, all those hybrid owners should stay home to demonstrate their commitment to low energy consumption. A energy rally to drive 200 miles. Appalling.


I believe that this is an example of, "To make money, you have to spend money". If I were trying to promote a PHEV, I'd draw 12" lettering on 4 sides advertising its mpg. Than, I'd drive, drive, drive, and hope I get bogged down in traffic.

Rafael Seidl

t -

while I see the irony of driving 200 unneccessary miles to demontrate fuel economy prize - let alone cross-country just to participate - there is some value in promoting high-MPG as an alternative way of earning bragging rights. And there is skill involved in driving a vehicle such that its fuel economy is much better than that posted by the EPA.

The event is sure to get media coverage. Traditionally, fuel economy has been the domain of those who could not afford to not to care. Now, it's the affluent who are flaunting their ability to afford technology that causes less damage to the environment/less dependency on foreign oil. And it has always been the affluent who define the aspirations of the social climbers.

In the long run, getting the masses to change their consumption ambitions and patterns is what really counts. The organizers just have to make sure they get the message out the right way - winning is important, but contributing even more so.

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