2011 marks the 100th anniversary of the Indy 500, and Indiana’s venerable celebration of the motor vehicle will mark the occasion by hosting its first Emerging Tech Day, featuring cutting edge alternative fuel vehicles cooked up by teams of college and university students. All you other states better look out, because not only will the event help shine a mainstream light on new clean tech for Indy 500 fans audiences nationwide, but it will also help cement Indiana’s leadership position in clean vehicle tech and green jobs.
Indy 500 Emerging Tech Day
Clean Tech Day is slated for May 7, and it will host Dartmouth College’s Formula Hybrid competition featuring student-designed, high efficiency, plug-in high performance vehicles. It will also include the 20-year-old American Solar Challenge and the Purdue evGrandPrix, a new event that ties into Purdue University’s focus on developing the next generation of electric vehicles – which in turn is part of a comprehensive collaboration between Indiana businesses, government and educational institutions to push the state into an electric vehicle future.
Indy 500 and a Greener NASCAR
Emerging Tech Day is part of an industry-wide effort by NASCAR to cut its carbon emissions. Let’s just say that if a fuel-focused industry like NASCAR can get itself together, anybody can, so it’s instructive to look at the range of actions that have been undertaken. NASCAR tracks are beginning to install solar energy and build new facilities to energy efficient LEED standards, and to host races that are offset with purchased renewable energy credits. Major companies are also starting to use a NASCAR as a promotional tie-in for green campaigns, such as Office Depot’s electronics recycling and new energy-saving shipping initiative.
Image: Indianapolis Motor Speedway by hyku on flickr.com.
Tina Casey specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. You can also follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.