General Motors Corp. and the U.S. Department of Energy recently announced that Missouri University of Science and Technology will be the only U.S. university to receive GM’s new fuel cell powertrain as part of North America’s premier collegiate automotive engineering competition.
EcoCAR: The NeXT Challenge is an advanced vehicle technology competition that challenges engineering students from universities across North America to re-engineer a GM vehicle. The goals of the competition are to minimize energy consumption, emissions and greenhouse gases while maintaining the vehicle’s utility, safety and performance.
Building on the strengths of the National University Transportation Center at Missouri S&T, the team is developing a hydrogen fuel cell plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. This technology represents a dramatic transformation to a more energy efficient means of transportation, says Dr. John Sheffield, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Missouri S&T.
The EcoCAR competition is based on a real-world integrated vehicle design and development process. Missouri S&T will develop their vehicle following a modified GM Global Vehicle Development Process for each phase of the three-year competition.
“This competition complements ongoing Missouri S&T research and demonstration projects that are working toward making the hydrogen-powered society of the future a reality by studying the entire process of hydrogen production, storage and end use,” Sheffield says.
More information concerning the Missouri S&T EcoCAR team and related activities can be found at http://ecocarchallenge.mst.edu.