Students who participated in EcoCAR 2 reached the checkered flag in the competition on L’Enfant Plaza in Washington D.C. outside the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) headquarters earlier this month.
EcoCAR is a unique real-world multi-year collegiate engineering competition. EcoCAR 2 challenged 15 North American universities to reduce the environmental impact of a Chevrolet Malibu without compromising performance, safety and consumer acceptability. That required students to develop strengths in hybrid technologies, engineering and manufacturing, as well as business and communication.
For the final competition, students spent one week at the GM Milford Proving Grounds, where their vehicles underwent testing in areas such as emissions and energy consumption, safety and performance. Then they went to Washington D.C. to present final presentations in mechanical, electrical, controls, business and communications.
“For the past three years all 15 EcoCAR 2 teams have worked tirelessly to design the next generation of clean vehicles and we have seen exceptional outcomes,” said Ken Morris, vice president, global product integrity, General Motors. “Ohio State stood out amongst the competition and truly did an outstanding job. All of the teams have helped advance innovative vehicle technology and improve the automotive industry and we thank them for their hard work, dedication and enthusiasm for this program.” - full press announcement (PDF)
I asked Tom Gorgia of Embry-Riddle to share more on what the team did in year three of the competition. Learn how the team applied Embry-Riddle’s aeronautical strengths to automotive design.
Mississippi State University was the top overall winner in year one of the competition. While they didn’t score as high this year, they did place third in communications and received an innovation award.
Wesley Haney (fourth from left in the team photo above) tells us more about how the team uses software in each of the three years of the competition.
Wesley shared these pictures of their NX analysis results for their aluminum trailer hitch and carbon fiber support structure designed in year three.
The team’s design reduced emissions in half compared to the base vehicle, reaching 50 miles per gallon gas equivalent using 315 watts-hour per mile. Beyond a great design with great results, this team took the EcoCAR message into their community to win first place in communications.