Thursday, June 14, 2012

Marietta Soap Box Derby Sponsored by Ed Voyles Honda

About 35 youths participated in Saturday’s 2012 Marietta Soap Box Derby for a chance to go to the championship of soap box car racing, the 75th running of the All-American Soap Box Derby in July in Akron, Ohio.

Since its first race in 2004, local derby competitors have represented the area each year at the championship. Throughout the morning and afternoon, participants once again battled for racing supremacy on the sloped parking lot of Marietta High School. The annual event was sponsored by the Marietta Kiwanis Club.

“I think the momentum builds up all year as they work on their cars,” said race director Devan Seabaugh. “It’s a good opportunity for them to do something with their parents and it all culminates into today’s race.”

Children ages 7 to 17 from north Georgia competed in two divisions based on weight and age. Racers ordered kits to assemble their own cars, which average four to six hours to complete. The race track begins with a 4-foot high ramp, where cars are launched down a 500-foot slope. Speeds approach 30 mph.

“There was an opening at my dad’s work and he asked me if I wanted to do it,” said derby newcomer Carlee Webb, 11. “I said, ‘Yes.’ I just thought it would be fun.”

Carlee’s father, David, works for Marietta-based Croy Engineering. While it helps to be an engineer to assemble a soap box car, such a task falls under mechanical engineering, he said. His company specializes in civil engineering.

“We haven’t really been exposed to it before, but we like it,” David Webb said of the event.

Because soap box cars are similar in design, the advantage typically goes to drivers who can quickly figure out where the speeding impediments are on the track, such as dips and cracks.

However, gravity is the most significant factor in downhill racing.

Twelve students from the Marietta Center for Advanced Academics learned that lesson as pilot participants in Masters of Gravity, a multimedia educational program for fifth and sixth graders, produced by Western Reserve PBS, which uses soap box car racing to teach math and science.

“It teaches the principles of gravity, geometry and Newton’s Laws,” said math teacher Elaine Reisenauer.

“It allows the children to build models of the soap box derby cars and to test the principles of weight, speed, acceleration and etcetera. Then they test sample cars down ramps, before they actually come out and build the soap box derby car together.”

Four of the 12 program participants received the opportunity to race in Saturday’s derby after writing essays about why they wished to participate. Those students were Andy Chinuntdet, Sam Judd, Ethan Harper and Jordan Mercure.

“It awesome,” 11-year-old Andy said after winning one of his first three races. “Honestly, I can’t believe I won. I’ve never done this before and some of these people have been doing this for three or four years.”

In December, Hollywood actor Corbin Bernsen visited Marietta to promote his recent soap box derby movie called “25 Hill” at a special expo conducted by the Marietta Soap Box Derby. The movie is expected to be released on DVD on July 3.

Read more:
The Marietta Daily Journal - Masters of the Derby

Monday, June 11, 2012

2013 Honda Fit EV recieves EPA MPG Equivalency of 118 MPG

The 2013 Honda Fit EV, has received a combined adjusted Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mile-per-gallon-equivalency rating of 118 MPGe, and an unprecedented low consumption rating of just 29 kilowatt hours (kWh) per 100 miles. With an EPA rated annual fuel cost of only $500 , the fun-to-drive 2013 Honda Fit EV can help consumers get more miles for each charging dollar. Full EPA MPGe ratings1 for the Fit EV are 132/105/118 city/highway/combined.
With such an efficient drivetrain, the Fit EV’s 20-kWh lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery provides the capacity to earn an EPA combined city/highway estimated driving range rating of 82-miles, allowing the Fit EV to surpass the EPA efficiency and range ratings of the Ford Focus Electric (105 MPGe, 76-mile range), Nissan Leaf (99 MPGe, 73-mile range), and Mitsubishi i-MiEV (112 MPGe, 62-mile range). The Fit EV’s exceptionally efficient design – encompassing everything from savvy powertrain design, weight-conscious engineering and effective aerodynamics – makes the most of the Fit EV’s smaller battery. Additionally, the Fit EV battery can be recharged in less than 3 hours from a low charge indicator illumination point when connected to a 240-volt circuit.
“Just as important as the industry-leading fuel-efficiency and fast recharging time, as a Honda, the 2013 Fit EV will be an absolute kick to drive,” said Steve Center, vice president of the American Honda Environmental Business Development Office.
The Fit EV’s 92 kilowatt (123 horsepower) coaxial electric motor generates 188 ft-lb of torque, and is teamed to a chassis with a fully-independent suspension and a driver-selectable 3-mode electric drive system adapted from the CR-Z Sport Hybrid.
Honda debuted the 2013 Fit EV at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show and announced plans to begin leasing the battery-electric commuter vehicle to customers in select California and Oregon markets during the summer of 2012, followed by an East Coast rollout in 2013. The Fit EV will be offered with three-year $389/month lease2.
Honda Environmental LeadershipThe Fit EV is a part of Honda’s portfolio approach, which includes the development of battery- electric, fuel cell-electric, natural gas, and gasoline-electric powered vehicles, to improve fuel-efficiency and reduce C02 emissions. Honda has led the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) rankings of overall vehicle environmental performance since 2000, and a Honda vehicle has topped the list of America's greenest vehicles, from the America Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), for eleven consecutive years.
In 2006, Honda became the first automaker to announce voluntary CO2 emissions reduction targets for its global fleet of automobile, powersports and power equipment products and its global network of manufacturing plants. Today, the company is striving for even greater reductions in CO2 emissions that contribute to global climate change, while also working to minimize waste, water use and the total environmental footprint of its operations worldwide.

Honda Fit EV Efficiency Comparison
ModelEPA Combined
MPGe Rating
EPA Combined
Battery CapacityEPA Label Range
Honda Fit EV1182920 kWh82 miles
Mitsubishi i-MiEV1123016 kWh62 miles
Ford Focus Electric1053223 kWh76 miles
Nissan Leaf 993424 kWh73 miles

1 kWh/100mi (kilowatt hours per 100miles): A lower number represents superior efficiency
1132/105/118 city/highway/combined miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent (MPGe) rating; 82 mile combined (city/highway) driving range rating (adjusted).  Ratings determined by US EPA.  Your MPGe and range will vary depending on driving conditions, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, battery age/condition, and other factors.  For additional information about EPA ratings, visit
2Subject to limited availability through October 2014 in designated market regions on approved credit through American Honda Finance Corp. Closed end lease for 2013 Honda Fit EV for well-qualified lessees meeting specific use and operation requirements. Not all applicants will qualify. No purchase option at lease end. MSRP $37,415 (includes destination). Excludes tax, title, license, registration, options and insurance. Zero capitalized cost reduction. Total monthly payments $14,004.00. Lessee responsible for non-routine maintenance, excessive wear/tear and up to $0.20/mi. over 12,000 mi./yr. Lease includes collision coverage, routine maintenance, roadside assistance and navigation system updates. Please see your authorized Fit EV dealer for complete details.