The West Philly Hybrid X Team (EVX Team) includes students from an after school program of the Academy of Automotive and Mechanical Engineering, a program of Philadelphia Academies, Inc. We are based in West Philadelphia High School, a public high school serving one of the most disadvantaged neighborhoods in the city of Philadelphia.
For the last twelve years, under the guidance of Team Director Simon Hauger, the EVX Team has built and raced alternative fuel vehicles, achieving remarkable success. As entrants in the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association's Tour de Sol, we outperformed university teams and production vehicles, winning the competition in 2002, 2005 and 2006.
The students are assisted and mentored by a group of teachers and other adults who bring engineering expertise, business acumen and professional networks to the work of building cars and creating opportunities and options for Team members. Key support has come from Drexel University, and the many professionals affiliated with Philadelphia Academies, Inc.
The Team has worked in the alternative fuel vehicle arena for over a decade. The PIAXP was the next big challenge for the Team. The challenge was huge; greater than we could have imagined. The PIAXP has driven us to examine an entirely new set of issues. While we had a long history of success in building efficient cars, we have now jumped into the world of green jobs, sustainable manufacturing, car sharing and environmental activism with both feet. To say that we got splashed when jumped would be an understatement. The objectives of the Team have expanded exponentially. We must build cars, be prepared to launch a viable business while we continue to support our student Team members as they grow from shy and gangly teenagers into skilled automotive technicians, college students, activists and entrepreneurs.
Student Team members work side by side with teachers to assemble vehicle components -- and the vehicles themselves in our school shop. They polish their public speaking and writing skills in the classroom and after school with Toastmasters International. They meet with business and industry leaders to learn about manufacturing and green jobs. Then, they put the knowledge and skills they have acquired to use as they leverage the Team's resources in meetings with political, community and business leaders as they push our work forward and raise awareness about the critical issues they are addressing.
The adults bring an extraordinary level of knowledge and expertise to the work of the Team. Our most senior technical advisors have decades of automotive experience. Drexel University students and their advisors add cutting edge technology to the project. Our professional supports from Philadelphia Academies, Inc. and their business partners round out our Team.
For more information on West Philly Hybrid X (EVX Team), check out the team's coverage on ConsumerReports.org