Inauguration-bound vehicles make stop at University Park

January 15, 2009

University Park, Pa. — For any hybrid vehicle owners or aficionados, the Reber Building-Hintz Alumni Center parking lot at Penn State's University Park campuswas the place to be on Thursday (Jan. 15). Despite the cold, dozens of Penn State students, faculty and staff turned out to see cutting-edge hybrid transportation technology. In their opening remarks, State College Mayor Bill Welch and Karen A. Thole, head of the University's Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, welcomed the dozen Saturn representatives, and acknowledged the deep footing that Penn State has in the field of transportation technology.

The day was sponsored by the Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute, Penn State Advanced Vehicle Team and the Saturn branch of General Motors. Both the Advanced Vehicle Team and Saturn had vehicles on display. The latest ChallengeX competition entry by Penn State, and several brand-new Saturn Vue 2-Mode Hybrids, were available for tours, demonstrations and behind-the-wheel experiences during the morning and early afternoon. Representatives of both the Advanced Vehicle Team and Saturn were on hand to present their respective technologies and to answer questions.

Thursday's stop at Penn State was part of Saturn's convoy from Detroit to Washington, D.C., in advance of the presidential inauguration activities surrounding President-elect Barack Obama's swearing-in on Tuesday, Jan. 20. Eleven hybrid vehicles provided by Saturn will be used in a variety of support capacities during the events planned around and during the ceremony. Friday (Jan. 16), the vehicles will continue on to the Washington, D.C., area and will begin their official inauguration duties at the end of the weekend, according to Michael Morrissey, Saturn product communications manager. Penn State is one of several universities, along with Ohio State University and Howard University, to host such a visit by the Saturn representatives and their vehicles.

For more photos, visit online.

  • Penn State's own student-designed competition hybrid, their entry into the General Motors and U.S. Dept. of Energy ChallengeX vehicle competition, was on display side-by-side with Saturn Vue hybrid crossover vehicles in the parking area between Reber Building and the Hintz Alumni Center. For more photos, click on the image above.

    IMAGE: Andy Colwell

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 18, 2010