Engineering Competition Could Bring Us a Hybrid Camaro

April 13th, 2015 by

As part of EcoCAR3 : An Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition, a four-year collegiate student competition, co-sponsored by Argonne National Laboratory, the Department of Energy, and General Motors, students from 16 North American colleges and universities are challenged to harness the power and speed of the classic American muscle car, the Chevy Camaro, into a hybrid powertrain vehicle.

EcoCAR3 is an innovative program, delivering practical, hands-on experience to the next generation of automotive engineers.

Launching students from the classroom into the working world, EcoCAR nurtures the development of highly-skilled engineers, business leaders, and communicators to meet the needs of the automotive industry, which is really exciting news for Chevy dealerships in Miami .

Using the EcoCAR Vehicle Development Process (EVDP), teams will establish a plan for research and development, analysis, and vehicle design.

Teams will tackle technology areas including: Energy Storage System design and integration, Hardware and Software-in-the-Loop simulation and testing, Human-Machine Interfacing (HMI) for infotainment and displays, vehicle connectivity and embedded control systems, powertrain component bench testing, use of vehicle modeling and simulation tools, and improving aerodynamics.

The Challenge

Using hybrid, hybrid-electric, or diesel technologies, students will have four years (2014-2018) to complete this project, and satisfy its engineering, environmental, and economic goals.

Hydrogen fuel cells will not be an option, as in other competitions, because program officials want to narrow the structure of the contest to cost and practicality.

Although fuel efficiency is a goal, EcoCAR3 is also concerned with cost-effectiveness and consumer acceptance. The car should look like its iconic predecessors: sleek, sexy, and speedy, but with an environmental conscience.

Teams will work on the latest version of the Camaro, which will be unveiled next month in Detroit. The Camaro was chosen for this competition because it currently gets 17 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway.

The new design should best the production Camaro by: reducing energy consumption, well-to-wheel GHG emissions, and criteria tailpipe emissions, while maintaining consumer acceptability in performance, utility, and safety, but should also meet energy and environmental goals through innovative and cost-efficient design.

Competitors have been asked to recognize any ground-breaking developments in their designs for future implementation.

The Competitors

The teams are: Arizona State University, California State University – Los Angeles, Colorado State University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Georgia Institute of Technology, McMaster University, Mississippi State University, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, University of Alabama, University of Washington, University of Waterloo, Virginia Tech, Wayne State University, and West Virginia University.

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