EcoCAR 2

EcoCAR 2: Plugging In to the Future is a competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and General Motors Corporation (GM). The competition spans three years, starting in Fall 2011 and culminating in Spring 2014. The challenge is to reduce the environmental impact of a Chevrolet Malibu without compromising performance, safety and consumer acceptability. 15 teams are participating in the competition; two from Canada, and 13 from the United States.
The purpose of the competition is for teams to design, construct and demonstrate vehicles that, when compared to conventional gasoline-powered vehicles,

  • reduce fuel consumption
  • reduce well-to-wheel greenhouse gas emissions
  • reduce criteria tailpipe emissions
  • maintain consumer acceptability in the areas of performance, utility, and safety

The EcoCAR 2 competition is unique amongst vehicle competitions because it gives its participants a chance to work with leading edge automotive technologies to solve real world problems.

History

For more than 23 years, the US DOE has sponsored 28 Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions (AVTC) through the Argonne National Laboratory. The competitions are structured to:

  • Accelerate the development and demonstration of technologies of interest to DOE and the automotive industry,
  • Provide the automotive industry with a new generation of engineering leaders with highly desirable experience, and
  • Help prepare the market to accept advanced vehicle technologies.
A list of AVTC alumni is available on the EcoCAR 2 website.

Competition Details

The EcoCAR 2 competition spans across three years and follows GM’s Vehicle Development Process (VDP). The VDP serves as a roadmap for the process of designing, building and refining an advanced technology vehicle.

In the first year, the teams investigate a number of drive-train systems; using computer simulation, they will pick a specific system for the vehicle. Extensive testing will be done to integrate the power-train and various vehicle sub-systems. After successfully completing the first year, each team will receive a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu which they will build into an EcoCAR over years 2 and 3 of the competition.

In the second and third year of the competition, teams will turn their designs into reality. The teams will be forced to deal with a variety of challenges that come with the vehicle design process and the use of alternative fuels. At the end of the competition, teams will have used exciting new technologies, converted a stock vehicle into a alternatively-fueled EcoCAE, and maybe even furthered the world of automotive design.

Year 1 – “Design”

Year 2 – “Build”

Year 3 – “Refine”

Technical:

  • Choose vehicle/fuel type
  • Design architecture
  • Test in simulator

Business/Outreach:

  • Find sponsors
  • Manage team website
  • Community events
  • Media interviews/stories
  • Social media campaign

Technical:

  • Vehicle arrives
  • Integrate components
  • Test at GM

Business/Outreach:

  • Find sponsors
  • Manage team website
  • Community events
  • Media interviews
  • Social Media Campaign

Technical:

  • Optimise the vehicle
  • Test at GM
  • Competition

Business/Outreach:

  • Full fundraising campaign
  • Manage team website
  • Community events
  • Media interviews
  • Social Media Campaign
  • Research

 

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