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ASU among 16 teams chosen for EcoCAR 3 competition

ASU's EcoCAR 3 team representatives
April 30, 2014

The U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors Co. recently announced the official launch of the EcoCAR 3 competition, introducing the 16 participating universities, including Arizona State University, and revealing the Chevrolet Camaro as the vehicle selected as the platform for the competition.

“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.”

Participating university teams will be challenged to design, develop and integrate powertrains into the vehicle that, when compared to the production gasoline vehicle, will:

• reduce energy consumption
• reduce well-to-wheel greenhouse gas emissions
• reduce criteria tailpipe emissions
• maintain consumer demand in the areas of performance, utility and safety
• 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 similar engineering design constraints and technical challenges that automakers face, resulting in a real-world training ground for automotive engineering students that is unparalleled in the academic environment. New for EcoCAR 3, the organizers are ramping up the challenge by adding cost constraints as well as automotive innovation as additional judging criteria.

"The EcoCAR programs have been and will continue to be an instrumental part of developing the next generation of automotive engineers. We have gained significant talent and intellectual property as a result of these programs," said James Kolhoff, global chief engineer and program manager, transmission controllers and powertrain electronics at General Motors. "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, 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 GM, and managed by Argonne National Laboratory, EcoCAR 3 is the latest Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC) aimed at developing the next generation of automotive engineers. The four-year program will conclude in the summer of 2018.

EcoCAR 3 includes both new teams and veterans to the AVTC. After a rigorous application and selection process, the schools chosen are:

• Arizona State University (Tempe, Ariz.)
• California State University – Los Angeles (Los Angeles, Calif.)
• Colorado State University (Fort Collins, Colo.)
• Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Daytona Beach, Fla.)
• Georgia Tech (Atlanta, Ga.)
• McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada)
• Mississippi State University (Starkville, Miss.)
• The Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio)
• Pennsylvania State University (University Park, Pa.)
• University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, Ala.)
• University of Tennessee – Knoxville (Knoxville, Tenn.)
• University of Washington (Seattle, Wash.)
• University of Waterloo (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada)
• Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, Va.)
• Wayne State University (Detroit, Mich.)
• West Virginia University (Morgantown, W.Va.)

For more information about the student engineering program, the participating schools or the competition sponsors, please visit or EcoCAR Photos.

Additional sponsors joining the U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors include: MathWorks; California Air Resources Board; Freescale; Clean Cities; AVL Powertrain Engineering; Bosch; ETAS; dSPACE; Snap-On; Siemens; GKN Driveline; Transportation Research Center; Enerdel; Proterra; Ricardo; and A123 Systems.

Media contacts:

Kimberly DeClark, EcoCAR 3

Ashley Yost,
EcoCar3 Communications Team Student Leader