Consumer Reports covered the Automotive X Prize competition
FVT Racing eVaro
Team Name: FVT Racing
Location: Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada
Vehicle: eVaro
Status: Eliminated. Failure to complete emissions test.

Who are they? An attorney, George Parker, designed and built car and aircraft parts and made several attempts over the past 30 years to build a high-mileage car every time gas prices got high. After the last attempt, when gasoline prices spiked in 2008, his house burned down with everything he owned inside, including the car. Friends volunteered to help, and team FVT was born. The team started the competition under the name of Fuel Vapor Techologies. Now it has eight or nine members full time, and another 56 part time.

What they say will set them apart: The eVaro is an extended-range electric vehicle that uses a carbon-fiber, Kevlar, and aluminum subframe. Parker claims the car has a 120-130 mile range on electric power, and a total range of 460 miles. The eVaro uses a 1.1-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine, and it has a total weight of about 2,000 pounds.

Field notes: The striking eVaro is surprisingly easy to enter, with the large canopy opening wide. There is room for a set of golf clubs to the left of the driver. There is an exterior trunk to the right of the driver and behind the passenger, giving the car more functionality than it might at first appear.
A promising concept, the eVaro has the electric-only range to far exceed what most drivers would need on a daily basis. Should more range be needed, the onboard motorcycle engine an regenerate the batteries. The Honda Goldwing-sourced engine sits in a removable cradle, aiding servicing and enabling future upgrades. It is conceiveable that an owner could swap engines down the road for something more fuel-efficient, or remove the engine altogether and save about 200 lbs.

Class: Alternative
No. of wheels: 3
Passengers: 2
Drive type: Series plug-in hybrid, front-wheel-drive
Power source: Lithium-ion batteries

Consumer Reports New cars: A to Z

Back to main page