WASHINGTON, DC, August 19, 2104 (ENS) - The U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors have announced the official launch of the EcoCAR 3 competition, introducing the participating universities and unveiling the Chevrolet Camaro as the platform vehicle for the competition.
EcoCAR 3 challenges 16 North American universities to reduce the environmental impact of a Chevrolet Camaro by minimizing the vehicle’s fuel consumption and reducing its emissions.
“EcoCAR is an opportunity for the next generation of automotive engineers to help design and build innovative advanced vehicles that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect the environment and save American families and businesses money at the pump,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.
“Through this competition, North American students gain valuable real-life experience that they can use to bring the auto industry into the cleaner energy future,” the secretary said.
The four-year program, aimed at developing the next generation of automotive engineers, will conclude in the summer of 2018.
Participating university teams must design, develop and integrate powertrains into the vehicle that, when compared with the production gasoline vehicle, will reduce energy consumption, reduce well-to-wheel greenhouse gas emissions and reduce criteria tailpipe emissions.
In addition EcoCAR 3 competitors must maintain consumer demand in the areas of performance, utility and safety AND meet energy and environmental goals, while considering cost and innovation.
The competition introduces students to industry-leading software tools and sophisticated powertrain components, and challenges them to face engineering design constraints and technical challenges that are similar to those faced by automakers, resulting in a real-world training ground for automotive engineering students that they cannot get in the academic environment.
In June, Ohio State University was named the winner of the EcoCAR 2 competition - Plugging In to the Future. This was a three-year competition, during which the teams re-engineered a Chevrolet Malibu
The Ohio State's 2013 Chevrolet Malibut with energy storage, electric drive and ethanol (E85) fueled engine technology, earned them the top honor.
New for EcoCAR 3, the organizers are ramping up the challenge by adding cost constraints as well as automotive innovation as new judging criteria.
James Kolhoff, global chief engineer and program manager for transmission controllers and powertrain electronics at General Motors said the EcoCAR competitions are valuable for developing the next generation of automotive engineers.
"We have gained significant talent and intellectual property as a result of these programs,” he said. “We’re also eager to see how the students will redesign and add more efficiency to an iconic muscle car like the Chevrolet Camaro.”
To be successful in EcoCAR 3, universities will need to recruit a team spanning many engineering disciplines, such as mechanical, electrical, computer and software engineering, as well as communications, marketing and project management.
The multi-disciplinary emphasis imitates a real-world automotive industry environment and gives graduates the skills to enter the field fully prepared for their careers.
Established by the Energy Department and General Motors, and managed by Argonne National Laboratory, EcoCAR 3 is the latest Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC).
EcoCAR 3 includes new teams and AVTC veterans. After a rigorous application and selection process, the selected schools are:
Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona)
California State University – Los Angeles (Los Angeles, California)
Colorado State University (Fort Collins, Colorado)
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Daytona Beach, Florida)
Georgia Tech (Atlanta, Georgia)
McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada)
Mississippi State University (Starkville, Mississippi)
The Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio)
Pennsylvania State University (University Park, Pennsylvania)
University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, Alabama)
University of Tennessee, Knoxville (Knoxville, Tennessee)
University of Washington (Seattle, Washington)
University of Waterloo (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada)
Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, Virginia)
Wayne State University (Detroit, Michigan)
West Virginia University (Morgantown, West Virginia)
For more information about the student engineering program, the participating schools or the competition sponsors, please visit EcoCAR3.org or EcoCAR Photos.
EcoCar will be exhibiting during the Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo, the only focused alternative powertrain exhibition in North America, taking place September 16-18, 2014 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Michigan.
PHOTO: The Chevrolet Camaro is the platform vehicle for the EcoCAR 3 competition. (Photo courtesy EcoCAR3)