EcoCAR 3 Kicks Off in September

EcoCAR 3, the latest in the Energy Department’s Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition series, will have a kickoff workshop in Novi, Michigan, from September 16 to 18. The Energy Department and General Motors are challenging 16 North American universities to redesign a Chevrolet Camaro into a hybrid-electric car that will reduce environmental impact while maintaining the car’s performance.

Teams have four years through 2018 to develop those ideas and meet engineering, environmental, and economic goals. The Camaro will keep its body design, while student teams develop and implement eco-power and performance under the hood, retain safety, and meet high consumer standards. The teams also will focus on developing technology that will lower emissions by incorporating alternative fuels.

Participants include: Arizona State University, California State University-Los Angeles; Colorado State University; Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Florida and Arizona; Georgia Institute of Technology; McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; Mississippi State University; the Ohio State University; Pennsylvania State University; University of Tennessee, Knoxville; University of Alabama; University of Washington; University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada; Virginia Tech; Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan; and West Virginia University.

During the four-year program (2014-2018), EcoCAR 3 teams will follow the EcoCAR Vehicle Development Process (EVDP), which aligns with General Motors’ vehicle development process and establish a plan for research and development, analysis, and validation of the EcoCAR 3 vehicle design.

EcoCAR 3 teams will be challenged to make innovations in many vehicle technology areas, including:

  • Energy Storage System design and integration
  • Hardware and Software-in-the-loop testing
  • Center stack development
  • Powertrain component bench testing
  • Use of vehicle modeling and simulation tools
  • Improving aerodynamics

The Camaro is a thrill behind the wheel, and now the EcoCAR students are in the driver’s seat. They have four years to design and integrate vehicle powertrains and alternative fuels, that when compared to the production Camaro, will further:

  • Reduce energy consumption;
  • Reduce well-to-wheel GHG emissions;
  • Reduce criteria tailpipe emissions;
  • Maintain consumer acceptability in the areas of performance, utility, and safety;
  • Meet energy and environmental goals, while considering cost and innovation.

The technical goals are designed to support industry’s need for engineers well versed in advanced vehicle propulsion. To support the goals, students will explore a variety of advanced propulsion systems, lightweight materials, improve aerodynamics, and utilize alternative fuels.

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