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Blog:AFV Cross-Country Drive Feb 2009

Lasted edited by Andrew Munsey, updated on June 15, 2016 at 1:41 am.

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Followed the progress of the New Energy Congress and Intergalactic Team as they crossed the country petroleum free!

American Fuel Vehicles, (AFV's) provide their drivers the ability to use cleaner, safer, less expensive, domestic resources.

Departing Salt Lake City, Utah the morning of February 15th with a destination of Atlanta, GA for EveryDay TV on the morning of Tuesday, February 17th, 2009. Returned Feb. 20, 2009.

Sterling Allan, CEO of the New Energy Congress, traveled with father and son team: Tai and Charley Robinson of Intergalactic American Fuel Vehicles. Tai is also a founding member of the NEC.

In the News

2009 Rocky Mountain Hydrogen Drive by Tai Robison - Along with the founder of the New Energy Congress, Sterling Allan, the team has braved the Wyoming winter and are heading to Atlanta, Georgia tomorrow. The three men will appear live on the FamilyNet TV network on the television show EveryDay with Marcus and Lisa on Tuesday, February 17, 2009. (Hydrogen Gas and Vehicles Feb. 16. 2009)

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Latest: Directory:Clean Fuel Conversions / New Energy Congress > New Energy Congress in the News > On Our Way to Atlanta in Clean Fuel Suburban to be on TV - A report from the road on our way to tell national television audience about renewable energy products available now as well as clean fuel alternatives. We got our first natural gas fill-up in Park City. (PESN Feb. 15, 2009)
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Latest: There was an error working with the wiki: Code[1] > New Energy Congress to be Featured Live on EveryDay TV Show - A national television program will feature Sterling Allan and Tai Robinson showcasing some products available now to increase energy efficiency while saving money and increasing the quality of life. (PESN Feb. 8, 2009)

Latest Developments

Fab. 20, 7:05 pm Mountain

Post by Sterling

We filled up with CNG at the same stations coming back as we did on the way out: Cheyenne, Rock Springs, and next will be Evanston, Wyoming. We shot a couple of videos of Tai filling up the vehicle as an instructional to educate about how easy it is -- pretty much as easy as filling up with gasoline.

In Cheyenne, my friend from back in high school and BYU, Chris Brown and his parents Char & Doug Brown came to meet up with us while we filled up.

We hit a little snowfall at around Rawlings for about an hour, but it didn't phase the hotdogger skiier, Tai, who didn't slow down at all, though most everyone else was. I just kept my face in my computer to keep from getting too nervous. He said he's tested the limits of this Suburban and is very confident of its ability to keep traction.

I'm hoping to get back asap to have a dance date with my wife. We'll probably be home in about 1.5 hours.

We had a relaxing morning at Tai's mom's place, then headed out at around noon.

Today is my parent's 50th Anniversary. Happy Anniversary Dad & Mom!

Fab. 20, 2:15 am Mountain

Post by Sterling

Arrived at Tai's mother's place in Boulder, Colorado after filling up with Ethanol and CNG east of town. I was born & raised in Boulder, my dad working at NIST with the atomic clock division. It seems like three lifetimes ago that I lived here, so much has happened sinced I left for college in '82.

Feb. 19, 7:30 pm CST

Post by Sterling

Filled up with CNG in Omaha then got some Ethanol and picked up some health food for dinner in the car. Chatting with friends on the phone.

Coming in to Omaha we saw an amazing scene of nature. Overhead was a stream of geese flying in a migratory path. What was amazing was the number of them. It looked like a river of geese in a very long path stretching across both horizons as far as we could see. The "river" was comprized of V after V, often around 50 geese each. Thousands in all.


(2:33 minutes)

River of Geese (10,000+) Outside Omaha Feb.19 2009 - This is a video I shot of what appeared like a river of geese flying overhead late in the afternoon south of Omaha, Nebraska at mile marker 80.8 (just south of Mound City, east of Big Lake) on I-29 (YouTube)

Feb. 19, ~1:30 pm CST

Post by Sterling

Filled up with CNG in Kansas City, then had Japanese lunch with Troy Helming and his wife. Troy is another member of the New Energy Congress. Excellent meal and company. Troy has pulled out of Krystal Energy and is now working as an advisor.

Feb. 19, 2009 6:00 am CST

Post by Tai

Filled up with Natural Gas in St. Louis.

Sterling and Tai alternated driving last night until about 3:30 am central, when we stopped at a Rest Stop and slept. Sterling talked to three NEC associates to help keep him awake: Joel in Portland, then Adrian Akau in Hawaii and Rick Tullock in Hawaii.

Feb. 18, 2009 10:30 pm CST

Post by Tai

Anyone ever seen a Saturn Rocket? Well we just got to see one, and what a photo opportunity! "Intergalactic Space Cruzer meets Saturn rocket in Alabama" photos to follow..... Next stop, Indiana, after traveling through Tennese and Kentudky.

Feb. 18, 2009 5:00 pm Central

Post by Sterling

We're in Burningham now, filling up with NG at Phoenix Energy. We're going to have dinner with Paul Noel and his wife who have driven down to meet up with us. Paul is a founding member of the New Energy Congress.

We ran into some severe weather on the way here, with hail and rain as part of a tornado-likely system.

When starting the Suburban this morning, the engine ran kind of rough. Tai said that Ethanol does that when it is cold. It is one of the down sides of using E85 fuel.

Yesterday was jam packed with meeting various people in Atlanta and showing off Tai's Suburban. One of the highlights was taking Mayoral candidate, Mary Noorwood around. She was so excited about it she had us go to Southface, a sustainable organization, to show it off to a dozen or so people there. In the evening we met with the CFO of a major national fleet (probably best not to mention name), who was likewise impressed by what Tai is doing.

Thanks to Bryan ("Beau") Grant for putting us up Monday through Wednesday, and for organizing all the great meet-ups we were able to do. He's a great host and coordinator.

Feb. 18, 2009 11:00 am EST

post by Tai

We get to take a rest break this morning and visit the Georgia Aquarium. Wow, what a gr8 opportunity to see fish, sharks, otters and jellis. Charlie loved the experiance and now wants a salt water aquarium to join our fresh water tank at home. We got to walk trough Centenial Olympic Park, another great opportunity we have on this grand adventure.

Feb. 17, 2009 5:00 pm EST

Post by Tai

Great news! Got my gas card used to fill up with CNG in Las Vegas upgraded so I can fill up at the UFO station in Atlanta w/ CNG and E85! Yes! Yes! Yes!

Quite an experiance, getting to fill up the Intergalactic Space Cruzer at a UFO station w/ both CNG and E85!

Feb. 17, 2009 2:40 pm Eastern

Post by Sterling

Our TV appearance on the ''EveryDay with Marcus and Lisa show went very well. We had a great time. It was fun seeing how those things work from behind the scenes. On the show with us was a lady discussing how to detox and a 5-year-old boy who is a Presidents trivia wizzard.

It's been a little frustrating trying to get a fill-up with Natural Gas in Atlanta. Due to silly choices by utility companies that require a special filling card for their own network of filling stations. Some of Tai's cards are expired because he doesn't need them in Utah, where Questar accepts payment by every day, normal MasterCard and Visa cards. In calling the various card administrative offices, he's not been able to get them to re-activate his cards so we'll probably end up having to just use ethanol here.

When we pulled into Atlanta last night at ~2:00 am, Tai drove around for about two hours to the three E85 stations and only CNG station listed on the filling map, but none of them would take his cards.

Feb. 16, 2009 ~5:30 pm Central

Post by Sterling

When we went to fill up at a natural gas filling station in Evansville,IN, we had quite the experience. The facility is a public utility, with probably 100 vehicles from their fleet, twenty of which run on natural gas, yet the filling station was in disrepair. The guy who ended up helping us, said that with the price of gasoline/diesel coming back down, they haven't been using the NG. We went to the back corner of the yard to fill up, and the guy gave it to us for free. He was very interested in what Tai had done to the vehicle. As we were leaving, we noticed another filling station out front so Tai thought he would try to top it off, since the station inside didn't have very high pressure and we only got about 1/2 a tank full. When Tai went to run his card, he couldn't get it to work. Then he noticed that the nozzle still worked, so he started filling. A security guard stopped by and said, "You can't do that!" But after hearing our story, he was glad to have met us and let us proceed.

The natural gas industry is drying up due to the apathy for cleaner fuels by the public, the lack of support from government and the low price of petroleum. Natural gas is still more economical, but with the associated roadblocks and the fact that it is an anti-status quo fuel, it is very easy to dismiss its many benefits. Another perceived problem is tha only dedicated fuel vehicles qualify for the Federal tax incentive from the IRS. The problem is that the infrastructure does not exist to make a dedicated CNG vehicle practical. Only bi-fuel, tri-fuel and multi-fuel vehicles are practical, but the distractions are keeping people from learning about the benefits of driving clean.

Daryl Broutis

Feb. 16, 2009 11:11 am Central

Pit stop in St. Louis

First we went to a natural gas filling station, Laclede Gas Company, but they were closed due to President's day, so we had to fill up with Ethanol at JD Street 10.937 gallons at $1.98/gal = $21.53, very close to the Arch. Odom. reading: 17177. Got a little lost trying to find the filling station with all the one-way streets in that area.

Tai and Charlie then took a hike up into the Arch while Sterling took a nap in the Suburban (he's been to the arch before).

Feb. 16, 2009: 6:45 am Central

Pit Stop in Kansas City, MO to refuel with CNG. Odometer 16914, 7.6 gallon equivalents @1.89/gal = $14.30 total.

Feb. 16, 2009: 12:04am

Pit Stop in St. Joseph, MO to refuel with E85 ethanol. Odometer 16850, 19.8 gal. @ 1.80/gal = 35.56 total.

Feb. 16, 2009: 12:04am MT

Pit Stop in Gothenburg, NE to refuel with E85 ethanol. 13.684 gallons @ $1.849 = $25.30 total.

Feb. 15, 2009: 9:50pm

Post by Tai

Running on E85 ethanol, at mile post 132, along I-80 in Nebraska, Tai was pulled over by Trooper #75 for excessive speed, 85mph in a 75mph zone. With a warning, the team was sent on their way :) Lesson learned, the 285/ 70-17 tires on the Intergalactic Space Cruzer roll real smooth, but they increase the actual vehicle speed to 85mph when the speedometer reads 80mph. We have physical evidence to prove this is the case. 2, count them, 2 officers of the law have now verified this with their radar guns.

Feb. 15, 2009: 5pm MT

Post by Tai

16277 ODO 9.524g.g.e. @ $1.47 = $14.00 During our pit stop to refuel with CNG at Cheyenne Light & Power, we met NEC Member Congress:Member:Michael Riversong for an enlighting conversation over dinner. Micheal is now our PR person in Cheyenne and is coordinating an interview with the press on our return visit through town.

Feb. 15, 2009

16029 ODO Rock Springs Pit Stop for CNG - 7.557g.g.e. @ $0.884 = $6.68

Feb. 15, 2009

15929 ODO Evanston Pit Stop for CNG - 2.268g.g.e. @ $0.862 = $1.97

Feb. 15, 2009: 10:52am MT

15869 ODO, Park City, UT 9.795g.g.e. @ $0.884 = $8.66 CNG fill-up

Feb. 15. 2009: 12:10pm

Post by Tai

While coasting down the big hill, on CNG, before the Continental Divide Great Basin, Tai was pulled over by Officer Hutchinson of the Wyoming Highway patrol and cited for speeding, 87mph in a 75mph zone :( The bond was reduced to $110 since all ocupants were wearing their seatbelts!

Feb. 15 2009: 8:42am

15782 ODO Driving on CNG to pick up Sterling, Tai and Charlie top off with 8.944 gallons of E85 @ $1.999 for a total of $17.88 in Draper, Utah.

Coverage Elsewhere

Photos from SOUTHFACE (Responsible Solutions for Environmental Living) by Bryan ("Beau") Grant

Also posted at Mary Norwood's Supporter page at Facebook

Related Links - Tai's company site.

American Fuel Vehicles on PickensPlan - Website we've been using to locate clean fuel filling stations as we travel.

See also

New Energy Congress

Directory:Clean Fuel Conversions

Congress:Member:Tai Robinson

Congress:Founder:Sterling D. Allan


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