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Illuminati Motor Works is a volunteer group of engineers, automotive technicians, graphic artists and car enthusiasts who have worked on alternative means of transport and alternative energy for many decades in their professional and personal lives. Our team members have built electric, solar electric, series hybrid mini Baja, natural gas fuel injected parallel hybrid, and stored are super charged fuel injected vehicles and have competed in the 1995 Hybrid Electric Vehicle and 1996 Future Car challenges.
We have worked for a variety of companies including Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and GM where we did circuit and system design, programmed and completed prototyping for the EV and HEV programs. Together we bring a unique set of abilities and diverse backgrounds from which to attack the challenges as set forth by the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE. Our preliminary design work supported by hands on experience gained through our collective histories led us to believe that we can not only meet but exceed the performance goals of this competition.
I’m often asked why MPG or MPGe is used when discussing the amount of energy used as fuel. Most recently I had a conversation with Craig Vetter about this and it seemed worth reproducing my thoughts here:
I think the way we measure energy use for vehicles is flawed. Why do we use the unit of a gallon, a unit of volume, to represent energy or its efficient or inefficient use. When, for example, building a power plant it is not designed, described or defined by the amount of train cars of coal it consumes….you never hear of a 40 car c... more »
At the end of February, Bob Gillespie invited us to participate in the Toyota Green Grand Prix, which is held every year in Watkins Glen, NY. Initially, Kevin was reluctant to go. It’s 800 miles from home, which is a long (and expensive) road trip when you’re hauling a heavy car on a trailer behind your truck.
I’m not interested in racing as a spectator sport and I had no interest in racing until participating in the Automotive X Prize. Being on the track at Michigan International Speedway changed something in me, and I wasn... more »
With our upcoming appearance at the Green Grand Prix, we figured it’s time to go over Seven with an eye towards any general maintenance it may need. After all, she has 8500 miles on her, and some of them are very hard miles thanks to all of the, er, scientific test driving we’ve done over the years.
Although she’s in fairly good shape, we noticed a vibration at high speeds and started digging into possible causes. This lead us to an inner CV joint that was worn and needed to be replaced. Next we noticed the tires needed to b... more »
Kevin, Nick and George will be bringing Seven out to the East Coast this December to help Jason Fagone promote his new book, Ingenious: A True Story of Invention, Automotive Daring, and the Race to Revive America.
The book’s publisher, Crown, has been incredibly cool and supportive of the project, but one thing that wasn’t in the cards was a book tour. Jason thought it would be fun to travel a bit, so he organized some dates and locations, trying to maximize the opportunities for people on the East Coast to see the car within the s... more »
Let me preface this review by stating that I approached Jason Fagone’s Ingenious: A True Story of Invention, Automotive Daring, and the Race to Revive America with the bias that comes from being a lover of cars, a believer in electric vehicles, and an XPRIZE contender.
One of Fagone’s strengths as a non-fiction writer is his ability to take fact and tell it in a way that reads like a novel, full of characters, dramatic scenes, a pace with much forward momentum, and even subtle parallels one would find in a great work of fiction.
O... more »
Seven was on display September 28-29, 2013 at the 12th Annual Route 66 International Mother Road Festival. I’d like to take a moment and thank the organizers for putting on a fine car show and giving us a venue in which to engage the public. There was a constant crowd of people around Seven that weekend and Team IMW was busy fielding questions about the car in particular and about EVs in general. It was an educational outreach to hundreds of people, most of whom were eager to know about the present and future of EV technology.
I’d ... more »