Washington, D.C. – A student team from the University of Waterloo in Ontario has taken third place in the EcoCAR Challenge. The team from Virginia Tech University took the top spot, while Ohio State University placed second.

The three-year challenge, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors, required 15 student teams to design and build fuel-efficient, alternative-technology vehicles with consumer appeal. The winner was an extended-range electric vehicle that runs on E85 ethanol and achieved the equivalent of nearly 82 miles per gallon (3.4 L/100 km). The second-place vehicle was also an ethanol extended-range, while the University of Waterloo built a hydrogen fuel cell plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.

The engineering students had to re-engineer a GM-donated vehicle to minimize its fuel consumption and emissions while maintaining its utility, safety and performance.

“The ingenuity and dedication shown by the students of Virginia Tech in building this next-generation vehicle will help them launch careers as leaders in the clean energy field,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. “With the experience and skills these innovative students have gained through the EcoCAR competition, they will help reduce our nation’s reliance on oil imports and keep U.S. industries competitive in the global marketplace.”

For more information, visit EcoCAR.

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