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NEWS
Virginia Tech Team Receives Donations for EcoCAR Challenge
December 11, 2009


The 2009-2010 Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team of Virginia Tech (HEVT) recently received donated prismatic lithium ion battery modules and control systems from lithium ion battery manufacturer A123 Systems as part of the North America EcoCAR Challenge. As part of the competition, the team will re-engineer the car to use less fuel per mile and cut emissions. Pictured here (left to right) are team members Mike Kearney, a senior from Woodbridge, Va.; Lynn Garrett, a team leader and graduate teaching assistant from Yorktown, Va.; and Nate Grundmann, a senior from Frenchtown, N.J. All are focusing their studies in mechanical engineering.

Student members of the Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team of Virginia Tech (HEVT) recently received donated auto parts worth $87,000 from lithium ion battery manufacturer A123 Systems as part of the North America EcoCAR Challenge.

The donated prismatic lithium ion battery modules and control systems will help the team with its competition goal of increasing the fuel efficiency of a GM crossover SUV.

As part of the EcoCAR Challenge, the Virginia Tech College of Engineering student team this fall took delivery of a 2009 General Motors crossover SUV, also donated. The competition tasks students with creating a more energy-efficient “green” automobile.

As part of the multi-phase project, the students will incorporate a split parallel hybrid powertrain powered by a GM 2.4 L ECOTEC engine, fueled by grid electricity and E85 (85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline) fuel. During phase 1, the team created a virtual model of a crossover SUV to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions while retaining the vehicle’s performance and consumer appeal. The second phase, now underway, gives student teams the physical challenge of turning their cutting-edge design into reality. Phase 3 will include road-testing the cars in mid-2010.


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