Six days and sixteen tired teams later – the second-annual EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge in San Diego, California has come to an end. Mississippi State University took first place with their biodiesel extended-range electric vehicle (EREV). Second place went to Virginia Tech with their ethanol-powered EREV vehicle. Third place went to Penn State’s biodiesel EREV.
- The Mississippi State University vehicle used a 1.3 liter four cylinder GM turbo diesel, 21.3 kWh A123Systems battery pack, and 75 kW UQM generator. The vehicle is setup into a series hybrid providing a 60 mile range on the batteries and 118 combined (city/highway) mpg during testing.
- Virginia Tech used a 2.4 liter ethanol engine combined with a 90kW Ballard electric motor, 16 kW belted alternator starter, and 21.3 kWh battery pack in a split parallel hybrid system. This vehicle reduced the use of petroleum products by 78 percent.
- Penn State used a 12.8 kWh battery pack coupled with a GM 110 kW Electric Traction Motor, 75 kW UQM generator, and a 1.3 liter 4-cylinder biodiesel to reach double of the baseline of 57 mpg equivalent.
Matt Doude, team member from first place Mississippi State said,
“This was our most challenging year and stakes were high to have our vehicle ready for inspections. To finish a year of hard work and long hours in first place is an incredible honor for me and my teammates. We look forward to the next chapter of the competition – with so much talent among the schools it will not be an easy road to another victory. But it’s this rigorous, hands-on process that gives us the valuable experience we’ll need in the workplace.”
Pat Davis, program manager of the Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Program said,
“During the last 12 months, these teams faced a difficult challenge – to build an innovative vehicle and continually refine and improve its operation. These students demonstrated extreme determination and commitment to make their vision a reality, and it is with great pleasure that I congratulate Mississippi State on its outstanding work and well-deserved first-place finish.”
Congratulations to all the teams the competed in year two of EcoCAR Challenge: The NeXt Challenge and we can’t wait for the third year! In fact, we may even be on site for next year’s challenge!