Tesla electric vehicles to recharge at Penn State during tour

A caravan of electric and renewable energy vehicles will make a pit stop at Penn State at 10 a.m. Friday, July 17, at the MorningStar solar home on the corner of Park Avenue and Porter Road.

The Renew America Roadtrip, consisting of two 2009 Tesla Roadsters and a Nissan Altima hybrid chase vehicle, is crossing the country to spread the word about renewable energy and electric vehicles and to raise money for green charities.

The New York-to-California convoy will reach Penn State Thursday evening and charge overnight. The vehicles will be on public display from 10 a.m. to noon Friday at the MorningStar before departing for Pittsburgh.

"We're delighted to be hosting the Renew America Roadtrip vehicles as part of this across-the-country event," said Joel Anstrom, director of Penn State's Hyrbrid and Hyrdrogen Vehicle Research Laboratory and a research associate at the Thomas D. Larson Transportation Institute. "This tour is an indication that electric vehicle technology is moving into the marketplace as we continue to see progress in fuel cell and battery research and energy storage technologies."

Also on display will be Penn State's award-winning Chevrolet Equinox hybrid sport utility vehicle and the Hi-Lion fuel cell vehicle. The University's advanced vehicle team has won top honors at national contests for stock-to-hyrbid vehicle conversions, including Challenge X: Crossover to Sustainable Mobility and EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge.

Emphasizing performance and range, the two-seat Tesla Roadster is capable of covering 240 miles between charges and achieving zero-to-60 mph acceleration in 3.9 seconds. The sports car retails for approximately $100,000. The company's follow-up vehicle, the Model S, is a family sedan that can seat five adults and has more than 20 cubic feet of storage space. The Model S offers a range of 300 miles per charge and costs $49,000.

The event was arranged by the Center for Sustainability and the Larson Transportation Institute.

More information on the Renew America Roadtrip can be found online at http://www.renewamericaroadtrip.com.

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Last Updated July 14, 2009