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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Vice President Al Gore praised University of Tennessee engineering students this week at a Washington, D.C., conference of automotive industry leaders.

At the conference, UT-Knoxville students Scott Sluder and John Norton exhibited the vehicle that won an alternative fuels competition this summer.

A 30-member team of UT engineering students converted the car to run on electricity and to recharge its batteries with a small natural gas-powered engine. UT cars have won the alternative fuels competitions four out of eight years.

Dr. Jeff Hodgson, UT engineering professor, explained the energy storage methods devised by the students in a speech to the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles.

“This was an extremely informative symposium, and a great opportunity for the University of Tennessee’s name to be brought before a group of very influential industry and government people,” Hodgson said.

Gore founded the partnership two years ago to link government, industry and universities in the development of a vehicle at least three times more efficient than current automobiles.

Contact: Dr. Jeff Hodgson (423-974-5294)