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Thursday, Nov. 4, 2010 10:22 am

RENEWABLES RELAY

As the wind pushed, Illuminati Motor Works solved Tom Weis’s problems with a 100-mile pull.

Tom Weis last week stopped in Springfield with his electric assist “Rocket Trike” on his Ride for Renewables, a public education tour promoting a 100 percent renewable energy grid by 2020 [See “Rocket trike stops in Springfield,” Oct. 28 at illinoistimes.com].

With high winds hindering his progress from Boulder, Colo., to Washington, D.C., Weis enlisted the help of Illuminati Motor Works to take him to his next stop – Sustainability Week at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. The Divernon-based Illuminati Motor Works team built a 100 percent electric sedan, “Seven,” for an X Prize competition held earlier this year. The vehicle usually gets fuel efficiency equal to about 200-plus miles per gallon (MPGe). [See “Car guys go for the X Prize,” June 17, 2010].

Designed for a competition that required only 100 MPGe fuel efficiency, Seven held up well during its first attempt at towing extra weight, Illuminati team leader Kevin Smith says. Holding three grown men, 200 pounds of gear, a trailer and a trike, the vehicle still performed at about 138 MPGe.

The feat once again proves that electric vehicles are truly viable and has inspired Seven’s creators to get their names in the record books, Smith says. Over the next year, Illuminati will be seeking to break and create several records in the Guinness Book of World Records.
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