Check for $25,000 helps Purdue EcoCAR 2 team
Seed money of $25,000 from General Motors will help students at Purdue University take the next step in designing and building an advanced technology hybrid/electric vehicle as part of the EcoCAR 2 competition.
Purdue is one of 15 universities with a team in the three-year competition, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), General Motors (GM) and the Argonne National Laboratory. The competition challenges the teams to convert a Chevrolet Malibu into a hybrid/electric or fuel-cell vehicle to reduce its environmental impact without compromising performance, safety and consumer acceptability.
General Motors representative Dale Klein presented the check to Vahid Motevalli, department head for Mechanical Engineering Technology, and to members of the EcoCAR 2 team on Thursday, Sept. 22. Klein will serve as the team mentor, providing advice and direction as needed throughout the competition.
“My role will be to help advise the team and be the single point of contact for them for any help they need,” said Klein. “The big benefit for GM is to be able to recruit students. It’s hands-on learning. [The students] are actually building things. They are going through the same design, development and validation process that we use at General Motors. It’s basically a training ground for us.”
In addition to handing over the seed funding, which will be used to buy key components for the vehicle, Klein had the opportunity to discuss the team’s initial concepts for the car.
Purdue’s team includes more than 60 students from college across the university. Mechanical engineering technology senior Haley Moore is serving as team leader.
Much of the fall will be spent on developing design concepts, which will be finalized and submitted in December. Each team will be provided with their vehicle after the first year of the competition. At that time, the teams will work on converting, testing, integrating and optimizing their designs with the vehicle. At the end of each year of the project, the teams will come together for competitions. The first year competition will be based on the design process. Competitions in the second two years will focus on the vehicles and how well they achieve the goals of the competition.
In addition to the vehicle and seed money from GM, the colleges of Technology and Engineering have committed to three years worth of funding for the team to help them reach their goals.
About EcoCAR 2
EcoCAR 2 is a three-year competition that builds on the 23-year history of DOE advanced vehicle technology competitions by giving engineering students the chance to design and build advanced vehicles that demonstrate cutting-edge automotive technologies.
General Motors provides production vehicles, vehicle components, seed money, technical mentoring and operational support. The U.S. Department of Energy and its research and development facility, Argonne National Laboratory, provide competition management, team evaluation, technical and logistical support.
Through this important partnership, EcoCAR 2 aims to inspire and educate the next generation of automotive engineers and accelerate the development and demonstration of technologies that are of interest to the DOE and the automotive industry.