The Green Vehicle Challenge Returns!

Published Feb. 25, 2010

Vehicles of the future will be in action May 1 as part of RIT President Bill Destler’s “Green Vehicle Challenge.” “We all need to do our part to help save Planet Earth,” says Destler. “Who knows? Maybe a participant will discover the right formula to fix our global energy problems.”

Destler is urging to the RIT community to compete in the challenge and begin thinking about ways to utilize alternative forms of energy. The 9 a.m. event kicks off Imagine RIT: Innovation and Creativity Festival, free and open to the public.

“It’s important to move toward a sustainable future,” Destler says. “We need to come up with some moderately inexpensive alternatives to what we have now. We welcome as many participants as possible from the RIT community.”

The winning entrant on the three-mile course will be the vehicle that completes the course with the lowest product of energy consumed and least amount of time (energy consumed X time).

To learn more about the challenge, including rules and registration, visit:

Last year, 10 challenge participants competed in the event at the festival. Two teams rose above the competition, both using less than 40-watt hours of energy, but a team from RIT’s Facilities Management Services claimed the top prize—an antique banjo from Destler’s collection. The Facilities Management car, driven by staff member Scott Smith, used only 27.7 watt hours.

“I really feel tremendous about representing Facilities Management Services and being part of the team that designed and created the best green vehicle on campus,” Smith says. Team CIMS, from the Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies, finished closely behind (using 35.6 watt hours) and were recognized as a co-winner by Destler during the 2009 festival.