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Plug In America Wins $142,000 Grant

Wed, 06/13/2007

Plug In America Wins $142,000 Grant

For Immediate Release
Wednesday June 13, 2007

Chelsea Sexton
Plug In America
(310) 948-2451

Jay Friedland
Plug In America
(831) 420-1042

Wynne Washburn
Formula Hybrid
(603) 646-6580

Plug In America Wins $142,000 Grant to Support Formula Hybrid Competition

Student groups can apply for a $10,000 Plug In America Formula Hybrid grant here at The application deadline is October 22, 2007

Fontana, California: Plug In America today announced that it has received a $142,000 grant from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to support the participation of teams from California in the Formula Hybrid competition. Formula Hybrid challenges teams of college and university students to design, build, and race formula race cars with electric-gas hybrid and plug-in hybrid drive trains.

Plug In America was one of just forty grant recipients out of 200 applicants for $25 million allocated last year by the California legislature to encourage the early adoption of alternative fuels in California.

"We are pleased and proud to receive this grant from the California Air Resources Board; it really shows how much our organization has achieved in advancing plug-in vehicles," said Chelsea Sexton, Executive Director of Plug In America. "Formula Hybrid encourages the next generation of engineers to explore the benefits of using electricity to make petroleum use the exception in transportation, not the rule. Hybrids have shown the advantages of using electric drive in cars--imagine what they can do with plug-in hybrids and beyond."

"We are delighted to have Plug In America and the California Air Resources Board sponsor Formula Hybrid and support bringing additional teams from California to our event," said Formula Hybrid Director and Dartmouth Thayer School of Engineering Research Engineer, Douglas Fraser. "Students are incredibly creative in coming up with novel solutions which push the envelope. I sure the new teams from California will add a great additional dimension to the competition."

Formula Hybrid is an offshoot of the highly successful Formula SAE� program, established in 1981 and sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers, which invites collegiate teams to design, build, and compete with formula racecars. The first annual Formula Hybrid International Competition was held May 1-3, 2007, at the New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, NH.

Formula Hybrid had its beginnings in 2003 when Dartmouth engineering students began researching their first hybrid racecar in hopes of entering it in that year's Formula SAE competition. However, the Formula SAE competition rules changed that year to disallow hybrid entries, thus inspiring the students to develop a hybrid competition. The competition itself is a sort of educational hybrid, bringing together applications of both mechanical and electrical engineering. Both the SAE and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers are sponsors of the program, along with major automakers including Toyota and DaimlerChrysler.

Students design and build an open-wheel, single seat car that must conform to a strict set of rules--formulas--that emphasize, encourage, and promote drivetrain innovation and fuel efficiency. In fact, a Formula Hybrid vehicle must use at least 15 percent less gasoline than a comparable "regular" Formula SAE racecar operated under the same conditions, a goal surpassed by many of the entries. Another guideline involves recycling: Unlike the Formula SAE competition, Formula Hybrid teams are encouraged to incorporate used parts of other racecars rather than build everything from scratch. Many teams see the Formula Hybrid competition as a perfect second year project for their students, especially after competing in events at Formula SAE West here in Fontana, California this week.

In addition to sponsoring Formula Hybrid, Plug In America will be making direct grants of up to $10,000 to teams from four California universities and colleges so that they can design, build, and enter the Formula Hybrid competition next year. Teams who wish to apply for these grants can contact Plug In America via email:

The Formula Hybrid International Competition created in 2006, invites teams of undergraduate and graduate students to design, build, and race hybrid formula racecars. The event is organized by Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College. Founded in 1867, Thayer School unites engineering into a single, flexible department to facilitate innovative research and instruction.

Student groups can apply for a $10,000 Plug In America Formula Hybrid grant here at The application deadline is October 22, 2007