Driving in Circles in the Name of Energy Efficiency

The student mission of EcoCAR 2: Plugging In to the Future is to design and build a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu to reduce environmental impact, without compromising performance, safety and consumer acceptability. Students design their team’s vehicle to use as little energy as possible, pollute the air less, but still accelerate, ride and handle, and be as comfortable and safe as any other car on the market today. These students are dealing with real-world design criteria to prepare them for careers in the future of the automotive industry. To properly test their vehicles, the competition organizers take a real-world approach.

Student vehicles will undergo vigorous dynamic testing at the Year Two Competition at General Motors Desert Proving Grounds in Yuma, Ariz. in May 2013, including acceleration, braking, ride and handling, static and dynamic consumer acceptability, gradeability, and emissions and energy consumption events.

These student vehicles are designed to work in the real-world and the emissions and energy consumption event allows competition organizers to test the environmental impact of these vehicles in a real-world test. In short, the EcoCAR student vehicles are driven and tested as a replica of how the average person would drive because organizers expect student vehicles to be relevant to the North American consumer.

Check out the video below to learn how the vehicles will best tested and scored, how organizers will take into account the total environmental impact from the “well to the wheels,” and get a sneak peek at the highly sophisticated emissions equipment that will be used to measure the pollutants coming out of the tailpipe, housed in a custom trailer. See you on the test track!