It’s hard to believe that EcoCAR 2 is already on the horizon, but Argonne National Laboratory has released the Notice of Program Interest for EcoCAR 2: Plugging In to the Future.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), General Motors (GM) and other sponsors such as Natural Resources Canada, EcoCAR 2 is North America’s Premier Collegiate Automotive Engineering Competition Series. Beginning in Academic Year 2011, EcoCAR 2 will build upon the 22-year history of DOE Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions (AVTC) and seeks to develop the next generation of automotive engineers with unparalleled experience designing, building, promoting and demonstrating advanced vehicle technologies. Up to 16 universities will be selected to participate through a competitive Request For Proposal (RFP) process. Participating teams will be challenged to minimize the environmental impact of a GM production vehicle utilizing various electric powertrain architectures.

The RFP will be out in November and proposals will be due in January 2011.

Watch the video below for a preview of the EcoCAR competition and what the future holds.