Daily Update 5/24/1999

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Monday, May 24, 1999 Waterbury, CT Display and Starting Ceremonies, Hartford, CT Display, and Torrington, CT

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 Venturer’s 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 today’s 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 can’t wait to get back on the road again to greet and educate more of the public on this project’s exciting new technology." Please check back tomorrow to keep following along with us on the 1999 NESEA Tour de Sol.

Please send comments and suggestions to szary@civeng.rutgers.edu.