Visit our web site at
Monday, May 24,
1999 Waterbury, CT Display and Starting Ceremonies, Hartford, CT Display, and Torrington,
Through the overcast skies, Team NJ set up the display booth and the countdown to the
starting ceremonies began. NBC (Channel 30-CT) was there to tape the starting ceremonies.
The excitement was brewing as Team NJ was getting ready for the NJ Venturers first
time on the road. The chase vehicles drove to the chase line-up on Union St. in order to
prepare everyone for the first leg of the trip. Then all the cars were moved up to the
banner for the Start Ceremony. Thomas Thompson, Executive Director of NESEA, Philip A.
Giordano, Mayor of Waterbury, Christopher Swan, CT Light & Power, Phil D. Patterson,
USDOE, and Dr. Robert Wills, Technical Co-Director, NESEA Tour; Partner, Advanced Energy
Systems, joined the drivers in a festive send off. During the ceremony, the Dodge Intrepid
ESX2 (demonstration category) was mentioned because it had a diesel engine with an
electrical assistance mechanism, making it a unique vehicle.
The Pace car of the NESEA tour was a Toyota Prius
(demonstration category), the only mass-produced hybrid-electric vehicle in the world and
will be introduced to the US in 2000. The tour race then officially began as "let the
races begin!" was announced. As the first fully functioning fuel cell and battery
hybrid vehicle, the NJ Venturer had its first run ever on the road to Hartford, the first
leg of the trip, stopping at Bushnell Park in Hartford.
NESEA volunteers, Kathleen Strizki (Hunterdon
Central) and Chris Rawlings (FIRST, Inc.) continued their testing of a Ford Ranger and a
Ford Ranger EV. Kathleen is driving the Ford Ranger while representatives from Ford are
driving the electric vehicle. Kathleen and Chris are recording the results of various
tests to calculate the difference between a regular vehicle and an electric vehicle.
Through the rain and occasional downpour, many schools of the area as well as the public,
visited the booth and picked up some information and took a look at the vehicle. Thomas
Thompson, Executive Director of NESEA, was the MC for todays NESEA event. Robert A.
Maddox Jr., Assistant Minority Leader, CT General Assembly, Jim Sime, CTDOT, a student
representing the Jr. Solar Sprint, Dr. Theodore S. Sergi, Commissioner, CT DOE, and Nancy
Hazard, Director, NESEA Tour who were also present, all were extremely excited about the
tour and its successful nature.
The cars were moved to Trinity St. in order to
prepare everyone for the second leg of the trip. Representative Maddox, Dana Lowell, NYC
Transit, and Dave Makoryak, Lockheed Martin gave the drivers a wonderful send off and
officially waved the flag as the cars began travelling to Torrington.
We arrived in Torrington after completing the second leg of the trip. Team NJ was
extremely pleased with all that was accomplished today. Kimberly Martin (Rutgers-CAIT)
said, "I cant wait to get back on the road again to greet and educate more of
the public on this projects exciting new technology." Please check back
tomorrow to keep following along with us on the 1999 NESEA Tour de Sol.