Breaking News: MAX Wins Escape from Berkeley!

| 10/14/2008 11:44:40 AM

Tags: MAX, Auto X Prize, 100 mpg, Escape from Berkeley,

MAX won the Escape from Berkeley (by any non-petroleum means possible) race! Huzzah!! 

I may be 1,300 miles away from the Sahara Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas, where the race ended, but my heart is beaming with pride. Jack and his trusty sidekick Sharon Westcott were the first to complete the 800+ mile race, arriving at the finish line last night. Jack tells me MAX performed admirably throughout the trip. He sounded exhausted, but ecstatic nonetheless. He's probably wind-whipped and quite hungry. That's Jack and Sharon in the photo below.

According to this morning's New York Times article on the subject, With Little Fuel, Eco-Racers Arrive in Las Vegas, MAX finished the race in 1,418 minutes. The Times article has a great photo of Jack and Sharon and MAX, shortly after they arrived at the Sahara. You can see it large here.

MAX wins Escape from BerkeleyJack had close competition up to the last day of the three-day race from Wayne Keith, who drove a Dodge Dakota that runs on oxygen, hydrogen and methane converted from wood and biomass burned in a large device in the truck's bed. Mother Earth News readers are familiar with that idea; it's good to see the idea live on.

In the end, Keith finished three hours behind MAX after problems from a flat tire and dead wood that didn't burn correctly.

MAX made the journey on veggie oil. Per the rules of the race, each contestant was allowed 1 gallon of non-petroleum fuel with which to start their engines. For the rest of the journey, your power source of choice had to be scavenged. Jack made a smart choice by using veggie oil in MAX's diesel engine, and was able to get oil all along the way from kind folks.

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