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Mississippi State University Wins Top Honors in Year Two of EcoCAR Competition--
Virginia Tech, Penn State Finish Second and Third

EcoCAR logo
Mississippi State EcoCAR

Mississippi State's Winning EcoCAR

Students from Mississippi State University placed first in the 2010 EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge finals in San Diego, Calif. after designing and building an exceptional biodiesel extended-range electric vehicle (EREV). Virginia Tech earned second place with an ethanol EREV design and Penn State came in third place building a biodiesel EREV vehicle.

Mississippi State University competed against 15 other universities to win first place in Year Two Finals of the three-year competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors (GM). The competition challenges university engineering students from across North America to re-engineer a GM-donated vehicle to minimize the vehicle’s fuel consumption and emissions, while maintaining its utility, safety and performance.

The Mississippi State University EcoCAR team chose to design an EREV hybrid with a 21.3 kWh A123Systems battery pack which provides an electric range of 60 miles. It’s also equipped with a 1.3 L GM turbodiesel engine and 75 kW UQM generator in a series plug-in configuration. During testing, the vehicle’s fuel economy stood out, achieving 118 miles per gallon gas equivalent (combined city/highway cycle). In addition to the overall winner’s award, Mississippi State won nine additional awards including performance events in auto-cross and acceleration.

The Virginia Tech EcoCAR team designed an EREV vehicle with a 40 mile electric range using a 90kW Ballard electric motor, 16 kW belted alternator starter and 21.3 kWh battery pack in a split parallel architecture. They chose to build the vehicle with a 2.4 L Ethanol engine and use 78 percent less petroleum compared to the baseline vehicle.

Penn State’s EcoCAR vehicle is also an EREV design which includes a 12.8 kWh battery pack coupled with a GM 110 kW Electric Traction Motor and 75 kW UQM generator. It includes a 4-cylinder 1.3 L biodiesel engine and achieved more than double the fuel economy of the baseline vehicle, or 57 miles per gallon gas equivalent.


June 2010


Kristen De La Rosa

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