EcoCAR 2: Plugging In to the Future, is a three-year collegiate engineering competition and the only program of its kind.
EcoCAR 2 is a three year intercollegiate engineering competition which challenges 15 universities across North America to reduce the environmental impact of a Chevrolet Malibu. This competition offers unparalled, hands-on, real world experience to educate the next generation of automotive engineers.
The goal of this competition is to design, construct and incorporate technologies in a vehicle that reduce petroleum energy consuption, reduce well to wheel greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, reduces criteria tailpipe emissions and maintain consumer acceptability in the areas of performance, utility and safety. During the three-year program EcoCAR 2 teams will follow a real-world Vehicle Development Process (VDP) modeled after GM's VDP. The VDP serves as a roadmap for the engineering process of designing, building and refining their advanced technology vehicles. Following a VDP will give the teams an opportunity to improve their vehicles efficiency while retaining consumer acceptability, performance and safety.
General Motors provides production vehicles, vehicle components, seed money, technical mentoring and operational support. The U.S. Department of Energy and its research and development facility, Argonne National Laboratory, provide competition management, team evaluation, technical and logistical support.
In comparison to production gasoline vehicles, construct and demonstrate vehicles and powertrains that:
•Reduce fuel consumption
•Reduce well-to-wheel greenhouse gas emissions
•Reduce criteria tailpipe emissions
•Maintain consumer acceptability in the areas of performance, utility, and safety
Student teams recieved $25,000 in seed money to begin developing their vehicle designs. With math-based design tools, such as Argonne's Autononmie, the development of software-in-the-loop (SIL) and hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation techniques, and other simulation software, the student teams research, compare and eventually select advanced vehicle technologies that meet the competition and team goals.Teams that successfully complete this first year of EcoCAR 2 will earn a key to a new Chevrolet Malibu and a place in the second phase of the competition.
In year 2, the team's primary focus is to ensure a functioning PHEV based on the approved architecture. The process will include disassembly of the necessary parts of the vehicle, preparation of the vehicle for the integration of the new components and implementation of the architecture. As of the writing of this report, the team has almost completed the disassembly phase of the project and is starting the next phase. The team has grown in size and developed a well-balanced team structure. The project management and technical divisions of the team have been re-organized and more closely resembles a corporate structure with the Steering Committee acting similar to a board of directors. The addition of Business Co-Managers and Communication Co-Managers has provided additional resources and human power. Using co-managers for Business and Communication functions was not planned, but has worked quite well. The team structure is as follows: a group of faculty advisors from the College of Engineering and College of Technology oversee a Steering Committee composed of graduate students. Graduate students of this Steering Committee oversee technical, business, and communication teams and delegate sub-deliverables. Leading the Steering Committee as Project Manager is graduate student, Haley Moore. The Project Manager oversees all aspects of the team and ensures completion of competition deliverables. Ashish Vora is the technical leader and oversee the activities of all the technical sub-teams and areas. The Front Drivetrain (FD) team is led by Chris Rhoades, in charge of all aspect of the front drivetrain such as combustion engine, exhaust system, and fuel system. The Rear Drivetrain (RD) team is led by Adam Fogarty, in charge of all aspect of the rear drivetrain such as electric motor, battery box, and sub frame. The HIL/Controls team is led by Haotian Wu, in charge of all aspect of control development including HIL/SIL modeling and validation, CAN integration, infotainment, and control. The two last teams on the steering committee, Communication and Business, handles most administrative work related to the project.