The EcoCAR EV Challenge: Shaping the Future of Electric Vehicles
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The EcoCAR EV Challenge: Shaping the Future of Electric Vehicles

The EcoCAR EV Challenge
  • EcoCAR EV Challenge: 4-year program sponsored by DOE, GM, and MathWorks, preparing students for energy and mobility challenges.
  • Universities engineer next-gen BEVs with advanced features using donated Cadillac LYRIQ in competitive four-year challenge.
  • EcoCAR emphasizes diversity, partnering with Minority Serving Institutions, addressing equity and electrification issues in mobility.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in collaboration with General Motors and MathWorks, has unveiled the exciting EcoCAR EV Challenge. This four-year Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC) will bring together 15 top-notch North American universities to engineer the next generation of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) with cutting-edge connected and autonomous features. This challenge is not just about innovation; it’s about creating a diverse talent pipeline that reflects the vibrant diversity of North America. 

“Collegiate competitions like EcoCAR are critical to building a clean energy talent pipeline that reflects the diversity of America and make room for more domestic manufacturing to strengthen our energy independence.” – U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm

The Challenge:

The EcoCAR EV Challenge will be a battleground for future automotive engineers to showcase their skills and creativity. Each team will be provided with a 2023 Cadillac LYRIQ, generously donated by General Motors. These bright young minds will work tirelessly to design, build, and optimize their advanced propulsion systems and connected and autonomous vehicle technologies over the course of four competition years. Their mission? To create a next-generation BEV that not only delivers exceptional energy efficiency but also exceeds consumer expectations for performance and driving experience.

“The EcoCAR program provides an exceptional educational experience for students and an exceptional talent pipeline for GM. We look forward to working with these students on our journey toward a zero emissions future.” – Steve Carlisle, GM Executive Vice President and President, North America

General Motors

Promoting Diversity and Inclusion:

In an effort to drive diversity and equity in STEM fields and higher education, the EcoCAR EV Challenge is committed to incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusion into all aspects of the competition. Teams will be challenged to address equity and electrification issues in mobility through innovative hardware and software solutions. Moreover, they will reach out to underserved communities and underrepresented youth to raise awareness about advanced mobility and recruit more underrepresented minorities into STEM fields.

“Providing the latest tools and resources for the university teams is a crucial element in educating the next generation of engineers and preparing them to begin their careers, especially with the development of EV technology.” – Lauren Tabolinsky, Academic Program Manager for MathWorks

The Universities Leading the Charge:

A carefully selected group of universities has been chosen to participate in the EcoCAR EV Challenge. These institutions include:

  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University/Bethune-Cookman University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
  • McMaster University (Canada)
  • Mississippi State University
  • Ohio State University/Wilberforce University
  • University of Alabama
  • University of California, Riverside
  • University of California, Davis
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • University of Waterloo (Canada)
  • Virginia Tech
  • West Virginia University

“This year, the selection process was highly competitive due to the number of outstanding applications we received from universities, big and small, across the U.S and Canada. We are excited to see what these teams will accomplish in supporting the country’s transition to clean energy and electric vehicles.” – Kristen Wahl, Director of the AVTC Program at Argonne National Laboratory

The Road Ahead:

The EcoCAR EV Challenge promises to be a transformative journey for the participating students. With a diverse range of engineering skill sets, these teams will emulate the real-world experience of working in the automotive industry. Their interdisciplinary approach will equip them with the necessary tools to excel in the dynamic mobility sector. The competition is set to begin in Fall 2022 and conclude in May 2026, marking an exciting chapter in the transition to clean energy and electric vehicles.

As the automotive industry hurtles toward a sustainable future, the EcoCAR EV Challenge stands as a testament to the power of collaboration, innovation, and diversity. This competition is not just about engineering cutting-edge vehicles; it’s about shaping the minds of the next generation and building a talent pipeline that truly represents the rich tapestry of North America. So, let’s cheer on these brilliant students as they embark on a journey that will redefine the way we think about electric vehicles. Stay tuned for the electrifying results of the EcoCAR EV Challenge!

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