MAX Update No. 15: Give Me Veggie Oil, Give Me Victory

| 10/24/2008 2:51:36 PM

Tags: MAX, Auto X Prize, Escape from Berkeley, biofuels, veggie oil,

Here are answers to some FAQs about our Escape from Berkeley experience:

How did you get fuel? 

The competition was a simulation of a Mad Max-like future — no petroleum and no money. Other teams had different techniques, but we got our fuel through a combination of begging and bartering. Enough people thought our mission was worth supporting, or wanted to read the latest Mother Earth News, or liked our t-shirts to keep us oiled all the way.

Veggie oil fuel tradeHere's Julie (on the left), a camp store manager on the way to Tioga Pass, giving MAX's navigator Sharon (right) her entire stock of cooking oil. As a small token of our appreciation, we gave her a copy of Mother Earth News and an “I helped the Prisoners of Petroleum Escape from Berkeley” t-shirt.

Isn't barter the same as buying? 

Not hardly. We had to engage people in our project; nobody gave us oil because they needed a shirt or it was easier than subscribing to the magazine. Sadly, bartering clothes for fuel is not without precedent; it happened during the Great Depression.

10/31/2008 12:52:37 PM

Max needs to get the right rear end ratio to get over 100 mpg. If you can start the car from a dead stop in 2rd or 3rd gear your 3.30 is too high. With all that torque you may need a 1.93 or 2.25 rear end. Hard to find. What is available are high rear ends for street racers which are great for acceleration and lowsey for economy.

jason thatcher
10/25/2008 8:46:29 AM

Good morning! I have logged on each day during the last week, hoping to find another update regarding this adventure. What a neat opportunity this is for you at this time. It is inspiring to see you invest your creative energy in a project like this. I can't wait to start building my own max. We will be watching for future updates. I can't wait to start collecting parts when the plans are finished!

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