GM and DOE sponsored event won by Mississippi State for the second year in a row!
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- May 23, 2008
Mississippi State’s Equinox HEV – Photo courtesy of Roy Feldman
Washington, D.C. - Mississippi State University, for the second consecutive year, has earned top honors in GM’s and the U.S. Department of Energy's Challenge X student engineering competition. Over the past nine months, the 2008 Challenge X challenged 17 university teams from the U.S. and Canada to reengineer a Chevrolet Equinox that employs advanced powertrain technologies. The goal is to produce a vehicle that has improved fuel economy and lower emissions, all while maintaining driver comfort and vehicle performance. University teams followed a real world vehicle development process and integrated their advanced technology solutions into the GM supplied Equinox vehicles.
The Mississippi State team designed a through-the-road parallel hybrid electric vehicle powered by a 1.9L GM direct injection turbo diesel engine fueled by bio diesel (B20). It achieved a 38 percent increase in fuel economy over the production vehicle on a modified urban test cycle.
The second place vehicle, engineered by students at the University of Wisconsin is a through-the-road parallel hybrid electric vehicle with a 1.9L GM direct injection turbo diesel engine fueled by B20. Ohio State University was awarded third place for its power-split hybrid electric vehicle powered by a 1.9L GM direct injection turbo diesel engine and fueled by B20.
Beth Lowery, GM Vice President, Environment, Energy, and Safety Policy said advanced powertrain technologies and alternative fuels play a key role in GM's overall strategy to help decrease the nation's dependence on petroleum and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
"The Government of Canada is proud to support the Challenge X competition," said Canada's Ambassador to the United States, Michael Wilson, on behalf of the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources. "Forums like Challenge X give our engineers of tomorrow a chance to prove that they can design emissions-free vehicles that function optimally. Today, more than ever, we need to make clean and innovative vehicles a reality."
Challenge X is a unique engineering competition that provided 17 university teams from across North America the opportunity to follow the GM Global Vehicle Development process and develop advanced propulsion technology solutions that will increase energy efficiency and reduce environmental impact. The teams used a variety of alternative fuels including biodiesel (B20), ethanol (E85), reformulated gasoline and hydrogen.
Additional highlights of the Challenge X vehicles:
- PHEV - The University of California at Davis is the only team to use plug-in hybrid technology for the energy source for its Challenge X vehicle.
- Biodiesel - Twelve teams used biodiesel fuel (B20).
- Hydrogen FCV - The University of Waterloo has a dedicated hydrogen fuel cell for its primary propulsion source, and as a result, its vehicle emits zero emissions from the tailpipe.
- Direct Hydrogen Injection - Pennsylvania State University, Texas Tech University and the University of Tulsa used hydrogen as a supplementary or secondary propulsion source. Penn State injected hydrogen into its vehicle's diesel engine as an emissions abatement strategy.
- Belt Alternator/Starter - Five teams, including Ohio State University and Virginia Tech, used belt alternator/starter technology for an electric performance assist in their vehicles.
- Ultracapacitors - West Virginia University and the University of Akron used ultracapacitors to source high levels of power for short periods of time and recapture energy from braking.
The 17 teams that participated in Challenge X were: Michigan Technological University; Mississippi State University, The Ohio State University; Pennsylvania State University; Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, San Diego State University, Texas Tech University; University of Akron; University of California, Davis; University of Michigan; University of Tennessee; University of Texas at Austin, University of Tulsa, University of Waterloo, University of Wisconsin; Virginia Tech; and West Virginia University.
2008 Challenge X entrants showing their hardware.
Additional information about the Challenge X competition is available on the Web at: Challenge X
EcoCAR: The Next Competition from the DOE and GM
EcoCAR is a new national collegiate competition series that kicks off in the fall of 2008. Sponsored by the DOE and GM as well as Natural Resources Canada and others, EcoCAR will challenge university engineering students across North America to design and build advanced propulsion solutions that are based on the vehicle categories from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) zero emissions vehicle (ZEV) regulations. Students will be encouraged to explore a variety of solutions including electric, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fuel cells. In addition, they will incorporate lightweight materials, improve aerodynamics and utilize alternative fuels such as ethanol, biodiesel and hydrogen.