This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

September 17, 2003

Road Rally to Feature a Wide Range of Vehicle Technologies

The Challenge Bibendum, a three-day road rally sponsored by the Michelin Group, comes to Sonoma, California, on September 23rd, ending in San Francisco on the 25th. Promoted as a "sustainable mobility event," the eclectic road show includes a wide variety of advanced vehicles, each of which is subjected to an emissions test and a variety of performance tests. The event draws its "Bibendum" name from the company's symbol, also known as the Michelin Man.

Among the vehicles entered in this year's Challenge Bibendum-the second to be held in the United States-are a number of fuel-cell-powered vehicles: a Mercedes-Benz A Class compact car, a Mercedes-Benz bus, two Ford Focus FCVs, a Toyota FCHV SUV, and a Honda FCX. Ford is also showcasing two vehicles that burn hydrogen in internal combustion engines: a Ford Focus H2ICE and a prototype hybrid-electric Ford Focus wagon. Volvo is concentrating on alternative fuels, with two compressed-natural-gas (CNG) bi-fuel vehicles: an S80 sedan and a V70 wagon. Honda is providing its CNG-fueled Civic GX as well as its two hybrid-electric cars: the Insight and the Civic Hybrid. And Toyota is contributing both its 2003 hybrid-electric Prius and a model sure to draw attention, its new 2004 Prius, which goes on sale in October. See the Press section of the Challenge Bibendum Web site.