About EcoCAR 2
EcoCAR2: Plugging In to the Future is a three-year collegiate engineering competition and the only program of its kind.
The competition’s mission is a vital one: offer an unparalleled, hands-on, real-world experience
to educate the next generation of automotive engineers. The competition challenges 15
universities across North America to reduce the environmental impact of a Chevrolet Malibu
without compromising performance, safety and consumer acceptability.
Established by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and General Motors (GM), EcoCAR2
builds upon a successful 25-year history of DOE Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions
(AVTC). These rigorous events exemplify the power of public/private partnerships in providing
invaluable experience and training to promising, young minds entering the North American
job market. EcoCAR2 follows the widely acclaimed competition series EcoCAR: The NeXt
Shaped by the greatest design changes in the history of the automotive industry, EcoCAR2
requires students to explore a variety of powertrain architectures which focus on electric drive
vehicle technology. EcoCAR2 teams will utilize a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu, donated by General
Motors, as the integration platform for their advanced vehicle design.
During the three-year program, EcoCAR2 teams will follow GM’s Vehicle Development Process
(VDP). Just as it does in the “real world,” the VDP will serve as a roadmap for the engineering
process of designing, building and refining their advanced technology vehicles. Following a
VDP will give the teams an opportunity to improve their vehicles efficiency while retaining
consumer acceptability, performance and safety.
EcoCAR 2 Process Breakdown
Year One – Design and Simulation –
During this phase, teams don’t have an actual vehicle to work on. Instead they are to lay the foundation for success in the latter two years using Computer-Based Modeling and Simulation software.
Year Two – Implementation –
Teams receive the keys to a brand new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu, donated by General Motors. They will take this Malibu apart and rebuild it while implementing the plans they’ve laid out in their proposal and year one designs and models. At the end of Year Two the Malibu will be what’s referred to as a mule vehicle – a vehicle equipped with experimental or prototype components for testing. At this point, the vehicles do not have to be fully refined, but they will need to be functional and have their respective architectures fully implemented.
Year Three – Refinement –
By this year, each team should have a working car and will use all of Year Two fine tuning every aspect to bring their vehicle up to and beyond consumer expectations. The Year Three final vehicle should reach a 99% buy-off rate and be a consumer-friendly hybrid car. Optimization in the form of creating new and exciting features is important in Year Three.
Overall Technical Goals:
- Reduce fuel consumption
- Reduce well-to-wheel green house gas emissions
- Reduce criteria tailpipe emissions
- Maintain consumer acceptability in areas of performance, utility, & safety