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UT selected for green car competition

General Motors' EV1 electric car

General Motor's EV1 electric car - Image via Wikipedia

Researchers at the University of Tennessee are working to design a better, greener car as part of a competition by the Department of Energy and General Motors.

UT Knoxville has been selected to join fifteen other universities in the EcoCAR 2: Plugging into the Future Competition, a three-year collegiate engineering competition that challenges the next generation of automotive engineers to reduce the environmental impact of vehicles without compromising performance, safety, and consumer acceptability.

The design will be conducted on a Chevrolet Malibu donated by GM. GM provides production vehicles, vehicle components, seed money, technical mentoring, and operational support to EcoCAR 2. The DOE and its research and development facility, Argonne National laboratory, provide competition management, team evaluation, and technical and logistical support.

The student team, led by Butch Irick, a research professor in the College of Engineering's Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering, will explore a variety of cutting-edge clean vehicle solutions, including full-function electric, range-extended electric, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell technologies. They will also incorporate lightweight materials into the vehicles, improve aerodynamics and utilize alternative fuels such as ethanol, biodiesel, and hydrogen.

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