Saturday, 31 October 2009 18:49

Fall is in the Air

Fall is always a time of transition for the West Philly Hybrid X Team. Our seniors, who were Team leaders, have moved on.  Rameak Taylor is at Alvernia University, Anita Davidson is at George Washington University, Eric Yates is at Community College of Philadelphia, Marquis Garner is in City Year, Tyrone Walker is at the University of Pittsburgh, Titusville, Sakira Harris is working hard and getting ready to start college in January. Fortunately, our graduates don’t abandon us. We are always delighted when alums stop by. We’ve seen Lawrence Mahoney-Jones (Drexel), Samantha Wright (Clarion), Kenny Polk-Jones (City Year) and Anita Davidson recently.

September is also a time for new Team members. This year, we’re pleased to welcome a group of new students and teachers to our effort to win the Progressive Automotive X Prize.  Our first two new members are Darmell Bailey and Karysma Cambridge, both sophomores. Darmell worked with us this summer and Karysma joined at the first September meeting. We are also thrilled to welcome Mrs. Ruth Donnelly who transferred from Swenson to West Philly High to be our Career Tech Ed Specialist. We are extremely grateful to have Dr. Christian Onuoha heading up our efforts to showcase biodiesel and biobutanol.

More recently we have welcomed Curtis Henderson, Shanea Chellis, Wagui Ndiaye, Joseph Jones and Alexis Bland. Read more about them on our Team biographies page.

Published in Blogs
Thursday, 22 October 2009 17:29

Students build green cars for $7.5M in prizes

The West Philly Hybrid X Team was recently interviewed by Jenna Bush Hager for a segment and live appearance on the Today Show on October 20. The appearance coincided with the announcement of the 43 teams that will continue to the next phase of the Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize. Read the full article to see the video of the Today Show broadcast.
Published in Media
Reuters featured a story by Jon Hurdle on the team and the lead-up to the October 19th media announcement of teams that will be continuing in the hunt for the Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize. The article featured interviews with members Stefon Gonzales, Simon Hauger, Ron Preiss, and Chris Millsip.
Published in Media
Monday, 14 September 2009 21:04


A performance minded hybrid combining power with sustainability and range.

Published in Vehicles
Monday, 14 September 2009 18:59

EVX Focus

An everyday vehicle for young, urban drivers.

Published in Vehicles
[KYW-1060 Radio] The Philadelphia-born head of the Environmental Protection Agency toured a hotbed of green technology on Monday, in the auto shop of West Philadelphia High School. EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, recently appointed by a president promising change, wants to change absolutely nothing for a group of West Philly High auto engineering students who have been stunningly successful. West Philly High's Academy of Automotive and Mechanical Engineering, which has already won three solar car design competitions, is now a surprise contender in the $10-million "X-Prize" competition for a 100-mpg (or better) car, facing some heavily moneyed engineering think tanks. Student Jacques Wells described some of the students' work: "The first is our four-passenger Ford Focus powered by eletricity and biobutanol, which is a second-generation biofuel that has many advantages over ethanol. The second vehicle is a factory five GTM sports car, powered by the same electric motor and battery pack that would be colupled with a Volkswagon TDI engine that would run on Pennsylvania biodiesel." Jackson (facing away from camera above) is impressed with the level of savvy at West Philly High: "I go all over, talking to adults, trying to make them get it, and these kids were telling me, 'Well, it's not just about what we build. It's about making sure it's something people want to buy.' Listen, at this point, we know the green economy's coming. These kids are ahead of the race." Team director Simon Hauger started this program 11 years ago as a way of challenging the kids, but now has three Tour de Sol solar car championships under his belt: "I never imagined that we'd be the first team of color in the largest alternative vehicle race in the country. I never imagined that we'd beat teams like MIT and private race teams and even corporations. I never imagined that the X-Prize competition would come to pass and that we'd be ranked in the top ten teams.
Published in Media

[NBC 10 Philadelphia] Designing a car that can run 100 miles on a single gallon of gas is not an easy task, but for a group of high school students from West Philly, it seems to be a piece of cake. The team has beaten out all the automakers and hopes they can do it again for the $10 million X Prize.

Published in Media

[6-ABC Philadelphia] Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson came to West Philadelphia High School's auto garage today to see first hand the award-winning cars a group of teenage students are producing. The school's Electric Vehicle X-Prize teams are building hybrids that can go from zero to sixty in less than 4 seconds and get 100 miles per gallon. They have already beat companies like Toyota and Honda by building the world's first hybrid supercar. Now they're poised to be a top contender for the X Competition next spring which carries a $10 million prize. "There's so much to gain for urban youth and people around the world jumping on the green economy," said sophomore Azeem Hill. "So many people need jobs." The EVX team started 11 years ago as an after-school program. The students have a budget of about $200,000. The big question is, how are they beating companies with millions at their disposal? "It's the fact that we're not a big established company and not complicated," said senior Eric Yates. "But we're showing the world that if you understand the basics, look what kids in inner city Philadelphia - and youth all over - can do." These humble kids say they're just trying to drive the market forward and open doors for inner city workers. EPA Administrator Jackson had nothing but good things to say. "The president has said the green economy has to touch everyone," she said during her visit today. "This is a great example of the administrators, teachers and...

Published in Media
[CBS-3 Philadelphia] It's not everyday a member of the President's cabinet stops by your school, but EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson recently honored a group of West Philadelphia High School students helping to build a greener future. This West Philly Hybrid X Team is one of over 100 teams from 11 countries vying for the X prize, an international competition aimed at designing and building a fuel efficient car that can get 100 miles per gallon and can eventually be marketed and sold.
Published in Media

Monday May 11, was an exciting day for the West Philly Hybrid X Team. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson visited the West Philadelphia High Auto Academy to talk about the Team's work.

Published in News
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