EcoCAR 2: Pluggin in to the Future challenges 15 universities across North America to reduce the environmental impact of a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu by minimizing the vehicles' fuel consumption and reducing its emissions while retaining the vehicle's performance, safety, and consumer appeal. | Photo by Myles Regan.

At Wedensday's EcoCAR 2 Finals for Year 1, Mississippi State University’s team took top honors. The team won the first place award overall for their design of a series-parallel plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that runs on electricity and E85 (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline). A veteran of nine years of competitions, the university has taken first place three different times. The Ohio State University came in second place and the University of Waterloo in third.  

The awards ceremony was the culmination of the week-long finals held in Los Angeles, CA. Teams spent the week showing judges how the vehicle architecture they’ve spent this year simulating and designing would fit into a real vehicle and meet the competition’s goals of increased efficiency and reduced emissions. The overall prize included scores from a number of different technical and non-technical categories, including their mechanical and electrical strategies, business plans, outreach efforts, controls systems, trade show displays, and hardware-in-the-loop evaluations.

Winners in specific categories were as follows:   

  • First Place Overall – Mississippi State University
  • Second Place Overall – The Ohio State University
  • Third Place Overall – University of Waterloo
  • 1st Place Outreach Program – University of Waterloo
  • 1st Place Business Program – University of Waterloo
  • Best Final Technical Report – Mississippi State University
  • 1st Place Design Reports – University of Waterloo
  • Best Facility Inspection – Mississippi State University
  • 1st Place Mechanical Presentation – University of Victoria
  • 1st Place Electrical Presentation – University of Washington
  • 1st Place Controls Presentation – Mississippi State University
  • 1st Place Project Initiation Approval – Mississippi State University
  • 1st Place Trade Show Presentation – Mississippi State University
  • 1st Place Final Hardware-in-the-Loop Evaluation – The Ohio State University
  • dSPACE 1st Place – The Ohio State
  • Freescale 1st Place – University of Victoria
  • MathWorks 1st Place Tie – The Ohio State University, University of Victoria
  • Best Collaboration with a Clean Cities Coalition – Pennsylvania State University
  • A123 Design Report 1st Place – University of Washington

But the journey has just begun! Teams will soon begin receiving their 2013 Chevy Malibus, and then will spend the next year integrating their architecture into those vehicles. The Energy Department, along with all of the other sponsors, congratulates all the teams and wishes them the best of luck in the second and third years of the competition.