Valence and EnergyCS Hybrid Wins Tour de Sol AwardsMay 19, 2005 by Jeff Shepard
A concept plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) developed by Valence Technology Inc. (Austin, TX) and Energy Control Systems Engineering (Monrovia, CA) has won the hybrid category in the Tour de Sol's Rally, which ended May 14, 2005. Powered by Valence's U-Charge™ power system, the PHEV is a fully functional concept car based on a 2004 Toyota Prius. Modifications made by EnergyCS included incorporation of Valence's Saphion lithium-ion battery technology in order to allow more zero-emission driving and better gas mileage.
In the Tour de Sol Rally the vehicle won first place in the modified hybrid-vehicle category for fuel efficiency and performance. On a 150-mile run, the EnergyCS-Valence PHEV achieved 102 mpg and used only 9 kWh of electricity to charge the Saphion lithium-ion batteries, which cost less than $1 to recharge. (For a commute of 50 miles to 60 miles between battery charges, the PHEV averages 125 mpg or more.)
The EnergyCS-Valence PHEV also won the Innovative Technology award in the Tour de Sol Championship for demonstrating a hybrid-vehicle architecture that can enable vehicles to reduce oil consumption and climate change emissions by replacing gasoline with clean, renewably produced electricity for its motive power.