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2009 EcoCAR Competition Winners Announced
June 19, 2009

University students from The Ohio State University earned top honors at the 2009 finals of the EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge competition in Toronto, Canada for their design of a Extended Range Electric Vehicle (EREV).

The Ohio State University took first place out of 17 universities in the U.S. and Canada that competed in the first major milestone of this three-year competition which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, General Motors, and many others including the Government of Canada. The competition challenges university engineering students across North America to re-engineer a 2009 Saturn VUE to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions while retaining the vehicle’s performance and consumer appeal.

During the past year, participating teams have logged countless hours working in their Green Garages to design the next generation of green vehicle technologies. For this first year of competition, students were tasked with creating innovative concepts for their vehicle design and given the opportunity to use advanced software and computer modeling tools which allowed for testing and refinement under the simulation of real-world conditions.

The winning team’s EREV provides a practical solution that will increase energy efficiency and reduce environmental impacts. The Ohio State’s design was powered by a 1.8 liter engine and fueled by E85 ethanol. The next-generation design predicts a 300% increase in fuel economy over the production 4 cylinder vehicle.

In year two of the competition, teams incorporate their unique powertrains into the Saturn VUE. In the final year, teams must refine their vehicles to near-showroom quality.

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