news update links
February 06, 2009

Sacramento, Ca

By John Schaefer,
Visit to SMUD (Sacramento Municipal Utility District): Getting the car in through the door was a challenge, because not only was the door narrower than the array, but also was narrower than the frame of the car. The array fitted through if tilted, but we didn't mount it on its pyramidal frame (which was two blocks away by then); instead, Marcelo just held the front end of the array, tilted, while a crowd of eager helpers pushed the car in. Finding the door frame too wide also, the eager crowd tilted the frame that Marcelo was standing on and moved the whole shaky contraption into SMUD’s lobby. This whole process scared the hell out of me, because a slip would have crunched the array against a door handle. But no crunching occurred and the car showed itself off nicely for a group of about eighty attendees.

We used the pyramidal frame on the way out, and it was turned out to be less nerve-wracking.

Returning to the museum, we exposed the array in the declining afternoon partial sun. Perhaps we charged about equal to what we had used to go the six or so miles to SMUD.

After several days in and out of the museum, I begin to feel that we're part of their community, and they a part of ours.

After such effort we deserved a good lunch at Ristorante Il Forniao just near the Tower Bridge.

By Mark Harling,
The day was overcast and the entry doors to the building lobby too narrow to move the solarcar without tilting the panel and requesting assistance to tilt the car to angle into lobby. There were about 50 people there to see the vehicle along with SMUD customers coming through the lobby to pay their bills. According to Elaine, SMUD had emailed their employees the news of the visit, it looked like a good turnout.

I particularly enjoyed Marcello's talk about the specifics of the car but more the personal account of his observations and encounters with individuals and animals along the way. It felt like I was hearing about and seeing something that will be a reality sometime in the future. His talk was amusing and inspirational and showed what the human spirit is capable of accomplishing and sharing. Elaine knows some really great individuals and I appreciated the opportunity and joy in meeting them.

By Marcelo,
It was a short but busy day. The weather was holding up. No rain for the drive from the Towe museum to SMUD. Getting the solar car inside the building was a good challenge. The solar car was wider than the entrance door. We had to disconnect, tilt the array and even tilt the chassis in order to squeeze between the doors. Luckily we had a lot of help. Thank you everyone! Special thanks to Suzette who organized the event on short notice. I was an enjoyable experience meeting everyone and sharing the project.

As as we left the building it started to rain, refreshing, it wasn't cold. We brought the solar car back to the museum, as we arrived there was a tread of hope to charge the batteries as the sun faintly showed its grace behind the clouds. Since it could rain at any minute we didn't deployed the array leaving solar array horizontal. At the least it could get some charge. The weather is looking better for tomorrow. Hopefully we'll get the batteries fully charged at a reasonable time before heading to San Rafael.

Tomorrow is free museum day in Sac, about 4,000 are expected to visit the Towe museum tomorrow. The plan is to attend the San Francisco Electric Vehicle Association meeting. Looking forward to seeing everyone there.

Stay beautiful,

By Elaine Hebert,
SMUD, our local electric utility, held a Power of One event for its staff. (See the photos of getting the Power of One car through SMUD's doors.) Marcelo showed a slideshow of his travels, and he really comes from his heart as he tells the stories of the midnight sun, wild horses and a wolf checking out the car, Alaskans reporting the "U.F.O." driving on their roads, and police stopping him just to have their picture taken with the car. And let's not forget the 1949 Treaty!! It allows cars with foreign license plates to drive in the US and certain other countries (it trumps local laws).

John (still in his pjs) and Bret, early in the morning helping Marcelo catch up on updates,
Hang in there everyone, updates coming soon!
XOF1 arrive at SMUD,
Squeezing XOF1 through the door
It made it!
Inside the building
More interviews
Marcelo doing talking about the project, 'the dream, the struggle, the victory"
Q & A following the presentation and a tour of the solar car
Marcelo, Suzette and John (Bret took the photo)