Archive for the ‘Al Unser Jr.’ Category
We have hours of footage from the X PRIZE, but this is one of my personal favorites I’ve been saving for a cold winter day. This is the Skidpad test on which Consumer Reports tests all new cars.
According to Wikipedia, a skidpad or skidpan is a large, circular area of flat pavement used for various tests of a car’s handling. The most common skidpad use is testing lateral acceleration, measured in g.
The test is carried out on a circular track with a calculated radius. A car driving on said track is slowly accelerated until the outermost tires on the car begin to slip. Going any faster would cause the car to drive outside the 300 ft radius. At this point, the speed of the car is recorded, and given the centripetal acceleration formula, v²/r, a car’s handling in terms of lateral gs can be derived.
To pass the test, the Alias had to surpass 40 MPH to achieve a lateral acceleration of .7 g without losing control. As you can see, this was a piece of cake for the Alias and X PRIZE posted a result of .85 g, not bad considering Al Unser Jr. was just getting started when they called him in. None of the X PRIZE cars in the Knockout Stage had a problem with this test and it was dropped for the finals.
Thankz to ZAP Alias Team Member Prashanth Radhakrishnan for capturing this raw video, which was posted originally on Facebook in June.
After years of work put into the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE and being one of only seven of the original 136 vehicles to make it through validation, ZAP is extremely honored to receive an Innovation Award from BorgWarner. BorgWarner supplied the Alias with its state-of-the-art eGearDrive(r) Transmission Technology. The system worked flawlessly throughout the competition, helping the Alias run at an impressive 124 MPGe, despite carrying hundreds of pounds of extra safety equipment to enhance its production-readiness.
BorgWarner historically gives this award to recipients and teams within the company. The ZAP Alias and other X PRIZE vehicles are the first innovators outside of the company to receive an award.
BorgWarner held the event at its Auburn Hills, Michigan headquarters. Thank you to ZAP Sponsor and team member Mike Mills of Speedway Tire & Auto out of Toledo, Ohio for representing ZAP at the event, bringing our ZAPTRUCK XL and ZAPPY3 Scooters for display at the event. ZAP co-driver Al Unser Jr. was not able to attend the event, but Mike Mills delivered a note on his behalf:
“It’s an honor to be a part of the electric car movement and with ZAP in particular. When we entered the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE, I was surprised to find that the Alias was using a BorgWarner transmission, so I am especially excited to hear that BorgWarner is involved in the electric car movement as well. I wish I could be there on ZAP’s behalf, but also on the behalf of BorgWarner, because of their long history with the Indy 500. Thank you.” — Al Unser Jr.
Read more about ZAP’s showing in the Automotive X PRIZE here. Press Release below.
BorgWarner’s Advanced Technologies Support Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize Winner and Two Finalists
BorgWarner’s VTG Turbocharger Technology Boosts Power and Fuel Economy for X PRIZE Winner Edison2
BorgWarner’s eGearDrive® Transmission Drives Finalists Aptera 2e and ZAP Alias
AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Oct. 5 /PRNewswire/ — BorgWarner’s variable turbine geometry (VTG) turbocharging technology boosts the performance and fuel economy for the Very Light Car by Edison2, Mainstream Class winner of the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE competition. The four-passenger vehicle is fueled by E85 and built with a focus on low weight, high efficiency and superior aerodynamics. Designed to boost the output of down-sized engines, BorgWarner’s VTG turbocharger helped the Edison2 team achieve the performance of a much larger engine, with lower weight and better fuel economy. During the competition, the Very Light Car recorded a total efficiency of 102.5 MPGe (miles per gallon or energy equivalent).
In addition, BorgWarner’s 31-03 eGearDrive® transmission drove two finalists in the Alternative Class for two-passenger vehicles: the Aptera 2e and the Alias from ZAP (OTC Bulletin Board: ZAAP). Both battery-powered electric vehicles benefited from the eGearDrive® transmission’s high-efficiency gear train and compact, low-weight design, which contributes to extended driving range and, in turn, reduces battery capacity requirements. The eGearDrive® transmission achieves greater than 97 percent efficiency, while providing smooth, quiet operation. BorgWarner also provided the thermal management system for the Aptera vehicle’s power electronics and electric motor drive unit. The Aptera recorded 179 MPGe on the X PRIZE test track and 195 MPGe during the event’s dynamometer test. The Alias achieved a total efficiency of 124 MPGe.
“BorgWarner develops and produces technologies that improve fuel economy, enhance performance and reduce emissions in all types of powertrains, including gasoline, hybrid, electric and diesel. The X PRIZE plays a momentous role in promoting innovation, validating results and leveling the playing field to allow consumers to choose the winning technologies for the future,” said Timothy M. Manganello, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, BorgWarner. “The innovations born during this competition—big and small—promise to revolutionize the way people travel. BorgWarner is pleased that our advanced technologies helped bring the dreams of these next-generation automotive pioneers to reality. Congratulations to Edison2, Aptera, ZAP and all of the X PRIZE participants.”
To inspire a new generation of viable, super fuel-efficient vehicles that offer more consumer choices, the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE awarded $10 million to teams that won a multi-stage competition for clean, production-capable vehicles that exceed 100 MPGe. A field of 136 vehicles from 111 teams was evaluated for efficiency, safety and performance under real-world conditions. BorgWarner was an official sponsor of the Aptera 2e team.
Auburn Hills, Michigan-based BorgWarner Inc. (NYSE: BWA) is a product leader in highly engineered components and systems for vehicle powertrain applications worldwide. The company operates manufacturing and technical facilities in 60 locations in 18 countries. Customers include VW/Audi, Ford, Toyota, Renault/Nissan, General Motors, Hyundai/Kia, Daimler, Chrysler, Fiat, BMW, Honda, John Deere, PSA, and MAN. The Internet address for BorgWarner is: http://www.borgwarner.com.
SOURCE BorgWarner Inc.
Enjoy more videos from the Automotive XPRIZE featuring shots of the ZAP Alias electric car at MIS as well as interviews from driver Al Unser Jr. and Team Leader Gary Starr.
Shots of all the XPRIZE cars that participated in validation, except for the Alias strangely.
Samyang Optics has taken delivery of a red Alias that first appeared at National Automobile Dealers Association Expo in New Orleans. The same Alias debuted to the public earlier this year at the Korea EV Challenge, sponsored by Samyang Optics.
Samyang Optics and ZAP Jonway have formed a business venture to introduce electric vehicles (EVs) to Korea. The government’s goal is to commercialize EVs and capture 10 percent of the global market by 2015. Korea wants EVs to comprise 10 percent of domestic small car sales by 2020.
The Alias is a finalist in the Progressive Insurance Automotive XPRIZE, a global competition that will award $10 million in prizes to teams that win a rigorous stage competition for clean, production-capable vehicles and exceed 100 MPG energy equivalent (MPGe). It is among nine vehicles remaining from the original 136 that started the competition. The winners will be announced September 16, 2010 in Washington DC. Further details are available at http://progressiveautoxprize.org.
“Any car that has made it through the XPRIZE finals is a winner in our book,” said ZAP CEO Steve Schneider. “Now begins the real work of preparing the Alias for market. It’s the first XPRIZE vehicle in the Kelley Blue Book, so that’s a good start.”
ZAP is one of the oldest and most experienced EV providers, having delivered over 117,000 of a broad range of vehicles to more than 75 countries since 1994. ZAP supplies electric trucks and vans to military, government and corporate fleets and is an innovator of electric motorcycles, scooters and ATVs. The Santa Rosa, California based company offers some of the only electric city-speed cars and trucks in production today. Further news and information is available at http://zapglobal.wordpress.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned that such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, continued acceptance of ZAP’s products, increased levels of competition, new products and technological changes, ZAP’s dependence upon third-party suppliers, intellectual property rights and other risks detailed from time to time in the ZAP’s periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
ZAP Alex Campbell +1-707-525-8658 ext. 241 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Zap Alias won the on-line poll for the most attractive car, but this car is far more than just a pretty face. An efficient and quick three-wheeled side-by-side, this electric vehicle carries a 32 kWh advanced lithium-ion phosphate battery made by one of the largest BEV manufacturers in the US, yet it still weighed in at a modest 2733 pounds. This car showed innovation in both its design and execution, yielding excellent performance and efficiency.
Class: Alternative Side by Side
No. of wheels: Three
Drive type: Battery electric, front-wheel-drive
Battery type: 32 kwh, lithium-ion
Charging: 110v or 220v
Thankz for the great video, XPRIZE! Watch more videos at the XPRIZE Foundation YouTube Channel.
When you have been racing IndyCars your whole career, perhaps you would be ready for a change of scene? So many have been curious about Al Unser Jr.’s attraction to driving the ZAP Alias electric car in the Automotive X PRIZE and we examine some of his recent interviews. As Edmunds.com writes, the race for the 100 MPGe Automotive X PRIZE is ‘oh so quiet‘ and this is part of the attraction for Unser. Earth2Tech asked Unser if he missed the roar of the engine? “Not at all,” says Unser. Many have speculated that Unser is doing it because it is the green, environmental thing to do. Perhaps they don’t know Unser very well, nor his family, who have been driving all kinds of automobiles and pushing automotive innovation for over 100 years. EarthTechling looked into Unser’s latest interest: electric cars. Also, long-time Unser fan Ronald Ahrens spent some time on the ground with the man at Michigan International Speedway. Learn more about the racing legend and why he’s so charged up about EVs.
- Ron Ahrens, Baggy Paragraphs: X Prize leads Zap Alias driver Al Unser Jr. to say his best days as a driver are ahead
- EarthTechling: Al Unser Jr. Interview: His Take On EVs
- Earth2Tech Green Overdrive: Al Unser Jr. Gets ZAPped
Firestone Brand Tire Helps ZAP Alias Electric Car Reach Finals of Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE
Two-time Indy 500 winner Al Unser Jr. is behind the wheel
BROOKLYN, Mich. (July 19, 2010) — Electric vehicle pioneer ZAP (OTC BB: ZAAP) rolled through the knockout stage of the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE with its Alias automobile piloted by Al Unser Jr. and will move onto the finals July 19-29, thanks in part to the latest generation of Firestone Firehawk ultra high performance tires.
The Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE is a global competition that will award $10 million in prizes to teams that win a rigorous stage competition for clean, production-capable vehicles that exceed 100 MPG energy equivalent (MPGe). ZAP is among 15 cars (from 13 teams) that have survived from the original 142 competitors that entered the chase for the X PRIZE.
The ZAP Alias has progressed through the preliminary stages of the international competition at Michigan International Speedway on the all-new Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval Indy 500 tire – an opportunity that arose through Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (BATO)’s relationship with legendary Indy car driver Al Unser Jr.
“As we made plans for the Automotive X PRIZE competition with Al Unser Jr. behind the wheel, he insisted that he wanted Firestone brand tires on the car,” said Gary Starr, Founder and Director of Business Development, ZAP. “Al brings a lifetime of driving experience to the ZAP team along with a wealth of auto industry contacts. He helped introduce Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations and its Firestone brand to the ZAP Alias, and the tires have been working very well for us.”
Starr and Unser worked with BATO engineers to select the appropriate tire for the competition. The Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval Indy 500 street tire was designed with a shallow tread depth (“skid”), while still maintaining desired tire performance. This reduced skid offers maximum traction capability (giving the tire its ultra high performance credentials); however it also lowers the tire’s mass, and thus helps to reduce rolling resistance. Low rolling resistance helps increase fuel mileage, which is key to winning the X PRIZE. Proper inflation pressure also contributes to achieving the desired rolling resistance level.
With all of these characteristics, the Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval Indy 500 tires helped the ZAP Alias progress through the stages of the X PRIZE competition, from the highway efficiency test 34 times around MIS, to the double lane change and the skid pad test run by Consumer Reports. Although some cars struggled with the lane change test in particular, The ZAP Alias, with Firehawk Wide Oval Indy 500 tires and Unser behind the wheel, conquered the accident avoidance test in just a few passes.
Watch the ZAP Alias perform these tests on YouTube and Facebook, follow the competition on Twitter, and check out the ZAP Alias Team Blog at zapalias.wordpress.com and the official X PRIZE website at progressiveautoxprize.org.
About Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations:
Nashville, Tenn.-based Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (BATO) is a business unit of Bridgestone Americas, Inc., whose parent company, Bridgestone Corporation, is the world’s largest tire and rubber company. Reporting into the BATO business unit are the company’s Latin American tire operations, the U.S. and Canadian consumer tire businesses and the U.S. and Canadian commercial tire businesses. BATO develops, manufactures and markets Bridgestone, Firestone and associate brand tires. The business unit is focused on retail, wholesale and original equipment markets, supplying passenger, light truck, commercial vehicle, off road, motorcycle, agricultural and other tires to its customers in the Americas. In addition, through its Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions unit, retreading customers have access to industry-leading research and development, manufacturing, marketing and sales expertise, providing them with a total tire solution.
ZAP was founded as a California Corporation on September 23, 1994, in a time where concern for the environment and use of petrol as an energy source was nominal. From its unassuming beginning as an electric bicycle kit manufacturer in the hamlet of Sebastopol California, ZAP has grown into one of the leading global distributors of alternative fuel technology vehicles. ZAP has distributed over 100,000 advanced alternative fuel-efficient vehicles (most of which are electric) to over 75 countries in an effort to supply consumers worldwide with products that are socially responsible and environmentally sustainable. ZAP is determined to become the leading global distribution source for advanced energy management technology and fuel efficient vehicles; with an emphasis on electric drive trains.
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