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After one year of intensive design work on computers and preparing lengthy technical reports (5 overall design reports and 1 battery design report), the North Carolina State EcoCAR team received its long-awaited Saturn VUE. To capture the excitement of the vehicle’s arrival at the NC State campus on September 18th, the team recorded the event in pictures and video. Enjoy!

Tractor Trailer Arrives on September 18

Tractor Trailer Arrives on September 18

Saturn VUE Leaving the Trailer

Saturn Before Unloading

NC State's Saturn VUE Hits the Road

NC State's Saturn VUE Hits the Road

NC State EcoCAR Team Poses With VUE

NC State EcoCAR Team Poses With VUE

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A ray of sunshine appeared on an otherwise rainy Friday afternoon in Starkville, Mississippi as a shiny white GM Saturn VUE was unloaded in front of a group of enthusiastic students.

Eagerly anticipating its arrival, several of us drove to the our green garage immediately upon hearing the VUE was in town. After seeing it safely unloaded, we took a test drive around Mississippi State University’s Industrial Park, listening to the smooth transition from the electric to gas-powered.

Our car is sure to be a big hit as the news reaches campus that the EcoCAR has finally made it. We can’t wait to get to work on this already phenomenal car and learn more about economically friendly energy sources!

See our pictures:

Also check out our team page.

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Engineering is intense.  Turning a Saturn VUE into a next-generation vehicle takes skill, intelligence and commitment.  Okay, it’s also a lot of fun.  So, in the spirit of racing toward sustainability, the EcoCAR team members spent last evening racing around a track at F1 Boston.  Today, they were back in workshops poring over information on optimizing vehicles for fuel economy, performance and emissions, but, as you can see by the pictures below (thanks to Martin Velilla), last night it was all about EIL – Engineers-in-the-Loop, a figure-8 loop that is.

EcoCAR Team Members Line Up Before Start

EcoCAR Team Members Line Up Before Start

Neck and Neck Around the Track

Neck and Neck Around the Track

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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The Team & Its New Saturn VUE

The Team & Its New Saturn VUE

Today, the Rose-Hulman EcoCAR team finally got their much anticipated Saturn VUE. The shiny, new aquamarine blue VUE is a big contrast to the familiar red and white of the Fightin’ Engineers on campus, but it is certainly a welcomed change. After patiently waiting for the VUE to unload, advisors Dr. Chambers and Dr. Herniter took some of the team members for a ride around the Rose-Hulman campus. Basically, we took the delivery opportunity to get some free advertisement of our EcoCAR team. We’re pretty sure now that everyone on campus knows that they should get involved in EcoCAR, help us tear the VUE apart, and put it back together to make the best hybrid out there. After logging in 8.7 miles around Rose, and testing everything out, our new aquamarine VUE is tucked away awaiting its reveal at lab tomorrow and at media and outreach events in the coming weeks. We know Year 2 is going to be awesome with our VUE!

For more information about the Rose-Hulman EcoCAR team, visit: http://ecocar.rose-hulman.edu/

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Hosts of WDUN Morning Show Bill and Joel

Hosts of WDUN Morning Show Bill and Joel

Georgia Tech’s EcoCAR team isn’t laying low after the finals in Toronto. Team member Ryan Melsert was recently a guest on the WDUN Morning Show with Bill and Joel in Gainesville, GA.

Listen to the broadcast here: The WDUN Morning Show with Bill and Joel, WDUN 550 AM in Gainesville, GA

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ohiostate_logo1The Ohio State University is no stranger to national championships, but today’s EcoCAR Challenge victory was a first. Actually an international competition (including teams and sponsors from Canada), the EcoCAR Challenge didn’t showcase touchdown runs or fast breaks, but it did feature world-class talent. In fact, with all due respect to all OSU’s student athletes, the prowess this team demonstrated over the past year designing their Extended Range Electric Vehicle (EREV) may someday change the world.

Although the EcoCAR Challenge can only crown one winner for the first year, congratulations are also due to second-place winner University of Victoria and third-place winner Mississippi State University.
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The EcoCAR Challenge Year One Finals are underway in Toronto, Canada. 17 teams are on the ground having the experience of a lifetime. We have eyes on the ground in Toronto, and we’ll be posting videos from each day of the competition so family, friends and all EcoCAR Challenge fans can experience the event.

Welcome behind the scenes of the EcoCAR Challenge Year One Finals. Enjoy the sites and sounds from DAY TWO.

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The EcoCAR Challenge Year One Finals are underway in Toronto, Canada. 17 teams are on the ground having the experience of a lifetime. We have eyes on the ground in Toronto, and we’ll be posting videos from each day of the competition so family, friends and all EcoCAR Challenge fans can experience the event.

Welcome behind the scenes of the EcoCAR Challenge Year One Finals. Enjoy the sites and sounds from DAY ONE.

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The wrapped Saturn Vue

The wrapped Saturn Vue

June is usually the time when college students shift gears for the summer, but for some engineering students, June is the time to literally get everything in gear. The students involved in the EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge competition have spent this, their first year, designing a new and advanced architecture for a 2008 Saturn Vue to reduce petroleum use and increase fuel efficiency.

EcoCAR is a three-year competition that builds on the 20-year history of DOE advanced vehicle technology competitions by giving engineering students the chance to design and build advanced vehicles that demonstrate cutting-edge automotive technologies. This important partnership aims to inspire and support the next generation of scientists and engineers around the common goal of sustainable mobility. To prepare for the June 12 year-end EcoCAR Competition Finals, these students are preparing to dazzle GM and DOE officials with their designs – just as if they were designing the next car to roll off the production line.

As new automotive technology gets attention in the consumer market, it is also gaining political attention. President Obama recently announced $2.4 billion in funding as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to encourage the production of next-generation plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and advanced battery components for such vehicles. The Act also includes a $7,500 incentive for buyers of these vehicles. Many of the student teams are ahead of the electric curve, having already incorporated electric components into their vehicles.

Eight of the EcoCAR teams, including Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Mississippi State University, North Carolina State University, The Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Wisconsin, University of Victoria and Virginia Tech chose to design extended-range electric vehicles (EREV), which, like GM’s Chevy Volt, demonstrate full performance with an electric powertrain that can extend the range of the vehicle with its onboard fuel storage. The EcoCAR Challenge teams that selected an EREV as their architecture will use either B20 biodiesel or E85 ethanol to extend the range of their electric vehicles.
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