For the next three years, 15 university teams will compete in EcoCAR 2, an electric vehicle design competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, Argonne National Laboratory, General Motors and about 20 other organizations. As the name suggest, this is the second such competition. The first one, which was won by Virginia Tech, focused on creating an extended-range electric vehicle architecture. This new competition will see the students attempt to improve the energy efficiency of the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu. The video below provides more details on the goals of the contest.
All of the teams have submitted their architectures for reengineering the Malibu design to create an even more efficient hybrid electric vehicle. The primary focus of the students who are competing in EcoCAR 2 is the power-flow design: the choices made for fuel, transmission, battery system, electric motor, generator and charger. Right now, the students are working on the design phase, simulating their choices with software. The designs that will be tested include:
Parallel Through the Road Plug-in Series Plug-in Series Parallel Plug-in Hydrogen Fuel Cell Series Plug-in Split-Parallel Plug-in
During years two and three of the competition, the teams will actually get hands-on to rebuild the 2013 Chevy Malibu vehicles donated by the sponsors.