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In the spirit of the holidays, the EcoCAR teams decided to do some caroling – with a Green Garage twist. Check out the video below to hear an EcoCAR-themed rendition of “The 12 Days of Christmas,” which compiles the ‘greatest hits’ from your favorite EcoCAR teams.

Thank you to all the teams who participated. We hope this song brings you holiday cheer as you wrap up final exams!

Deck the walls of your Facebook profile by sharing these holiday tidings – just put the following link into your status:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOGoTEVE4ag.

Call it a Green Garage upgrade. The UVic EcoCAR team is thrilled to have a new cutting-edge garage facility in its near future. The new “Green Vehicle Research and Testing Centre” is currently under construction and when complete, will consist of a garage and testing lab equipped with state-of-the-art automotive testing equipment. Its doors will be open to researchers from UVic as well as public and private sectors who are focused on advancing alternative energy technologies, especially hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric.

The Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification and members of the UVic EcoCAR team, with one of UVic's green vehicles. Photo Credit: UVic Photo Services

Lead by faculty advisors Curran Crawford and Zuomin Dong, the UVic EcoCAR team will be among those fortunate enough to use the new center, where they plan to perfect their Extended Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV) during Year Three of the competition. A key element of the new facility is a vehicle chassis dynamometer – aka ‘dyno’ – which measures speed, torque and power of a vehicle under a range of operating conditions. Think of it like a treadmill, for cars.  “It will allow us to test vehicles in a controlled environment, with more accurate results than using a human driver, and it’s also a lot safer,” said Dr. Crawford. “Ultimately, I think the dyno, and in fact the entire center, will give the EcoCAR team a competitive edge and really further the research that UVic is doing with the automotive industry.”

Yelich and members of the University of Victoria EcoCAR team, pose with the awards won by the team. Photo Credit: UVic Photo Services

Congratulations to UVic and we look forward to a tour of the finished facility in the near future!

The EcoCAR teams have now headed home after almost two weeks of intense competition in Yuma and San Diego. Most teams are invigorated by the competition, and use it as an opportunity to see how their vehicle measures up in a rigorous test environment.  Even as the students left the awards ceremony and began heading to the airport, they could be heard discussing their strategy for next year. It’s a testament to how passionate these young people are about their vehicles and the EcoCAR program.

While many students graduated this year and have accepted jobs in the industry, many are coming back along with new recruits the team brings on board for the third and final year of EcoCAR. Most of the returning students will be spending at least part of their summer in their Green Garage, because the competition doesn’t get any easier during the third year, when they will be asked to further refine their vehicles and make them fully-functional prototype vehicles with “near showroom” quality.

Check out the final results from Year Two below, presented at the EcoCAR 2010 Awards Ceremony:

1st Overall – Mississippi State University
2nd Overall – Virginia Tech
3rd Overall – Pennsylvania State University
4th Overall – University of Victoria
5th Overall – The Ohio State University
6th Overall – University of Ontario Institute of Technology

Best Mechanical Systems Presentation – Mississippi State University
Best Electrical Systems Presentation – Virginia Tech
Best Controls Event Presentation – Mississippi State University
Best Vehicle Design Review – Mississippi State University
Best Static Consumer Acceptability – Virginia Tech
Best Dynamic Consumer Acceptability – University of Ontario Institute of Technology
Best Lange Change – University of Ontario Institute of Technology/Virginia Tech
Best Acceleration – Mississippi State University
Best AVL Drive – Pennsylvania State University
Best Braking – Virginia Tech
Best Autocross – Mississippi State University
Best Fuel Consumption – Mississippi State University
Best Fuel Consumption-Runner Up – Pennsylvania State University
Best Tailpipe Emissions – Mississippi State University
Best Tailpipe Emissions-Runner Up – Virginia Tech/Pennsylvania State University
Best Petroleum Energy Usage – Mississippi State University
Best Petroleum Energy Usage-Runner Up – Virginia Tech
Most Improved Team – North Carolina State University
Best Vehicle Appearance – Rose Hulman Institute of Technology
Best Engineering & Fabrication Workmanship – University of Waterloo
Dr. Don Streit Sportsmanship Award – University of Victoria
Ron Stence Spirit of the Challenge Award – University of Victoria

National Instruments-1st Place – Virginia Tech
National Instruments-2nd Place – University of Wisconsin
National Instruments-3rd Place – Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
dSPACE-1st Place – The Ohio State University
dSPACE-2nd Place – Mississippi State University
dSPACE-3rd Place – University of Victoria
The Mathworks-1st Place – The Ohio State University
The Mathworks-2nd Place – Rose Hulman Institute of Technology
The Mathworks-3rd Place – Mississippi State University
Freescale Award – The Ohio State University
Bosch-1st Place – Missouri Science & Technology
Bosch-2nd Place – University of Ontario Institute of Technology
Bosch-3rd Place – The Ohio State University
A123Systems-1st Place – Mississippi State University
A123Systems-2nd Place – Pennsylvania State University
A123Systems-3rd Place – University of Victoria

Click here for a list of the Outreach and Sponsor awards presented at the EcoCAR Sponsor Social last week.

In late February, Snap-on Tools representatives traveled from headquarters in Kenosha, Wisconsin to the University of Wisconsin for a personal shop tour. The Snap-on reps were excited to be on campus and eagerly looked under the hood of the EcoCAR to learn about the team’s design.

“Snap-on is delighted to be working with the EcoCar Challenge this year,” said Snap-on Innovation Works representative Dan Ramirez. “We deeply value the opportunity to support and work with the bright minds that will be shaping the cars of the future in what has been called one of the most exciting times for the automotive industry.”

Year Two of the EcoCAR competition focuses on vehicle integration, so the Wisconsin team is extremely thankful for the Snap-on tool set they received earlier in the academic year. It has been put to great use in the team’s Green Garage!

We are excited to announce that we have updated the EcoCAR Green Garage site! We have made changes to the site to make it more user friendly and to provide additional content about the student teams and the architecture designs.

A few new features to note:

  • A ticker has been added to the bottom of the homepage with the three most recent posts from the Inside the Green Garage blog
  • The Designs page has been updated to highlight the four primary designs with new icons
  • Each design icon links to a sub-page with a definition of the architecture and a list of schools using the respective technology
  • The Teams page now includes a brief description of the teams’ architectures and links to both the university and team Web sites

When you have a minute, take a look and let us know your thoughts! We’d love the feedback!

We have exciting news to share from Embry-Riddle! Last week, the university opened the doors to its new “green garage” where the EcoEagles will use aerospace techniques to build their EcoCAR.

The garage is top-of-the-line. It includes a rotary vehicle lift, dedicated high-voltage room, and an integrated hardware-in-the-loop laboratory donated by National Instruments.  Not only will be the students be designing a vehicle in the garage that is fuel efficient and evironmentally friendly, the lab itself is actually designed to reduce environmental impact – the floor covering is made from recycled tires! 

Embry-Riddle President John Johnson and Volusia County (Fla.) council members Joie Alexander and Patricia Northey joined the entire EcoCAR team and supporting faculty members to cut the ribbon on December 4, officially marking the grand opening of the new engineering laboratory. 

Joie Alexander, John Johnson, and Patricia Northey cutting the ribbon!

The “green garage” was made possible by the generous support of EcoCar Challenge sponsors General Motors, the Department of Energy, and the Government of Canada, in addition to Embry-Riddle team sponsors, International Speedway Corp., US Didactic, and SolarFit.

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If you’ve been following the EcoCAR competition, then you know that starting Wednesday this week EcoCAR competitors will convene in Boston for the Fall Workshop to officially kick-off the second year of competition. We’re excited to spend this time in the Boston area, and we hope that by the end of the week, as the Cheers saying goes, “everyone will know our name!”

This is a really exciting time for the competition, because it’s the point when things really begin to heat up. The teams have made it through the design and modeling stage and, now that they are working with actual vehicles, they’re ready to “put the pedal to the metal” and accelerate zero to 60 – or, should we say, zero to “green” – in no time flat.
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Saturn Vue - Side ViewSaturn Vue - Rear ViewAfter a year of design, planning and anticipation, the last several hours of waiting for the car to arrive on Wednesday seemed to stretch out for an eternity. Team members constantly filed into, and out of, the EcoEagles Green Garage between classes, hoping to catch the arrival ceremony. Unfortunately, we discovered that the hauler was in Macon, GA at about noon. We could either receive the car at 6 p.m. or 8 a.m. Thursday. After the false start, the team gathered in the morning with the Dean of the College of Engineering, VP of Research and Institutional Effectiveness, and other school officials for a continental breakfast. Countless hours of work have gone into this project and the sense of relief was palpable when the car was finally driven into the lab. Finally, the project that we’ve all been working on in the abstract for so long has been made tangible. Amid all the excitement we realized: we are the Embry-Riddle EcoEagles, and this is our car.

Just for fun, here’s a video the team did as the new Saturn VUE rolled into its new home. Enjoy!

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Call them “garage innovators”, a new generation of car inventors are making their debut in North America. In February of this year, The Green Garage experienced the thrill of showcasing the next generation of future clean vehicle technology solutions. Read the rest of this entry »

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