Toronto, Ontario – A student team from the University of Victoria (B.C.) has placed second in the 2009 finals of the EcoCAR Challenge competition, with Ohio State University earning the top honours. It is the first award of a three-year competition to re-engineer a 2009 Saturn Vue to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions while retaining the vehicle’s performance and consumer appeal.

The challenge is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, General Motors, and many others including the Government of Canada.

For the first year of the competition, students had to create innovative concepts for their designs, using advanced software and computer modelling tools that allowed for testing and refinement under the simulation of real-world conditions.

The Ohio State University team won for its designed of an extended range electric vehicle (EREV), powered by a 1.8-litre engine and fueled by E85 ethanol. The University of Victoria’s vehicle was also an EREV running on E85, while third-place Mississippi State University produced an EREV with B20 biodiesel.

In the second year of the competition, the teams will incorporate their powertrains into the Vue, and in the final year, must refine the vehicles to near-showroom quality. Other designs in the competition include full function electric vehicles, fuel cell plug-in hybrids, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

For more information, visit EcoCAR Challenge.



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