EcoCAR Competition Information
The EcoCAR Challenge is a three-year competition that builds on the 19-year history of Department Of Energy (DOE) advanced vehicle technology competitions by giving engineering students the chance to design and build advanced vehicles that demonstrate leading-edge automotive technologies, with the goal of minimizing the environmental impact of personal transportation and illustrating pathways to a sustainable transportation future. DOE has again joined General Motors (GM), the Government of Canada (Transport Canada, Natural Resources Canada), and other sponsors for this new competition series, named the EcoCAR Challenge. Argonne National Laboratory, a DOE research and development facility, manages the EcoCAR Challenge.
The EcoCAR Challenge takes place over three years from 2008 to 2011. Competition requirements and deadlines are scored throughout each academic year with a final competition taking place in the summer of each year.
First Year Modeling and Simulation
Second Year Integration of components into the vehicle and build a “mule” vehicle
Third Year Completion of a vehicle that meets current consumer acceptability expectations.
The technologies explored in EcoCAR are identical to those being investigated by the automotive industry to meet the demands of improved energy efficiency and dramatic reductions in GHGs, as well as to address California zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) regulations. These technologies include full-function electric, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and fuel cell hybrid vehicles. The only fuels approved for use in EcoCAR are E10 ethanol, E85 ethanol, B20 biodiesel, compressed gaseous hydrogen, and the energy carrier electricity.
Teams selected will design and integrate advanced-technology powertrains, lightweight materials, and aerodynamic improvements into a production vehicle. Using this approach, EcoCAR will explore pathways for future vehicles while giving the student participants the knowledge and experience they need to rapidly develop critical engineering skills and become the next generation of leaders in the automotive industry.
EcoCAR is based on a real-world integrated vehicle design and development process. Teams of engineers from the selected schools will develop their vehicles following a modified GM Global Vehicle Development Process (GVDP) for each phase of the three-year competition. By the end of the competition, the sponsors expect fully developed vehicles equivalent to prototypes ready for a production decision. While applying proven methods for engineering successful prototype vehicles, students will learn real-world engineering skills that will make them highly effective in the automotive industry. At the conclusion of each of EcoCAR’s three years, a week-long competition involving all of the participating schools will take place at a GM vehicle proving ground or other appropriate location in North America.
Year 3 Goals and Objectives
To incorporate technologies that reduce petroleum energy consumption. Specifically, to properly incorporate our two-mode hybrid system into the GM-donated stock vehicle which we received in Year 2 of the competition.
To increase fuel economy from 28.3 mpg to 35 mpg.
To decrease well to wheel greenhouse gas emissions from 246 g/km to 150 g/km.
To maintain consumer acceptability in the areas of performance, utility, and safety
To build on previous years’ work to refine the implementation (Year 2) of our design (Year 1) to achieve all of these specifications in terms of vehicle performance.
To inform citizens of Morgantown and surrounding communities about the EcoCAR competition and how the WVU team is representing its community.
To educate youth about the EcoCAR competition in order to illustrate the benefits of a college education. This helps to show children around the area that they can go to college and succeed.
To educate youth about the importance of being eco-friendly and teach them how they can help to improve the environment.
To contact both state and local media sources in order to promote EcoCAR and our team’s events.
To maintain the WVU EcoCAR webpage as well as WVU EcoCAR Team pages on social media sites, providing those interested with updates about the progress of the WVU team.
The following teams are competing in the EcoCAR competition:
- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Daytona Beach, FL)
- Georgia Tech (Atlanta, GA)
- Michigan Technological University (Houghton, MI)
- Mississippi State University (Starkville, MS)
- Missouri University of Science and Technology (Rolla, MO)
- North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC)
- Ohio State University (Columbus, OH)
- Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA)
- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (Terre Haute, IN)
- Texas Tech University (Lubbock, TX)
- University of Ontario Institute of Technology (Oshawa, Ontario, Canada)
- University of Victoria (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada)
- University of Waterloo (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada)
- University of Wisconsin (Madison, WI)
- Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA)
- West Virginia University (Morgantown, WV)
Members of the WVU Team at the 2010 NAFTC WVU Odyssey Day.
*The above information can be found at the competition’s website. Visit or for more information.