Plug In America Donates $15,000 for University’s Hybrid Formula Team

Plug In America Donates $15,000 for University’s Hybrid Formula Team
Engineering students admire the Tesla roadster on display.
Engineering lecturer Joe Berk, left, talks with TJ Aguirre of Zero Motorcycles.
Plug in America presents Vice President Ed Barnes with a check for $15,000.

Global green organization Plug In America (PIA) presented a $15,000 check to Cal Poly Pomona on April 9 to help fund the university's first Hybrid Formula Car Team. The presentation was part of an event spotlighting electric vehicles.

The Hybrid Formula Car team and its advisors, associate professor of mechanical engineering Dr. John Caffrey and College of Engineering Dean Edward Hohmann, accepted the donation.

Several California electric vehicle manufacturers displayed their vehicles at the event. They include Phoenix Motor Cars, which manufactures SUVs and pick-up trucks; Tesla, which manufactures high-speed roadsters, and Minor, which manufactured several utility vehicles recently purchased by the university. Jules Electric and Zero Motorcycles also showed off their scooters and motorcycles.

The $15,000 donation will be used to support engineering students' involvement in the new Hybrid Formula Car Competition with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).

“Our students' performance and professionalism is commended not only by SAE International, but all the corporate sponsors and competing universities alike,” says Mechanical Engineering professor Clifford Stover. “We are proud to be a top notch engineering school with exceptional students with excellent team skills.”

Cal Poly Pomona's outstanding SAE teams have racked up impressive results in various competitions. Last year, the Baja SAE Team, which builds off-road vehicles, raced to a first place finish at the 2008 Baja SAE Competition, which drew an impressive 115 teams from around the world. Additionally, the Formula SAE Team, which creates formula-style race cars, earned a highly-respectable fifth-place at the SAE formula competition at the world-class Ferrari headquarters in Italy.

In past years, the university's former solar energy team, CaPSET, raced three different solar cars in competitions held worldwide. Additionally, The Alternative Vehicle Club, which stems from CaPSET, has a solar boat team that competes in the Solar Splash every year.