At the end of January, members from Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team of Virginia Tech (HEVT) traveled up to Washington D.C. to participate in The 2012 Washington Auto Show. The event brought vehicles from over 42 domestic and import automakers to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
“The EcoCAR competition continues to be an outstanding example of student ingenuity and energy efficiency,” said Barbara Pomerance, Director of Communications and Media Relations for The Washington Auto Show. “We are proud to showcase Virginia Tech’s stellar achievements at The Washington Auto Show’s Advanced Technology SuperHighway.”
The Auto Show’s Advanced Technology SuperHighway (ATS) presented a pavilion of innovations in automotive safety and green technology. The ATS highlighted the 2012 show theme, “Safety and Sustainability in Motion,” and meshed perfectly with HEVT’s attendance. The SuperHighway showcased developments in electric, hybrid, hydrogen, clean diesel and more in advanced technologies.
Unlike previous auto shows HEVT has attended, this one was special because a fellow EcoCAR 2 team was in attendance as well—Ohio State made the trip from Columbus to attend the Auto Show.
The first day of the Auto Show, closed to the general public, was Public Policy Day. HEVT spoke with President of General Motors North America Mark Reuss and the Department of Energy’s Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs David Sandalow. Speaking with Mark Reuss was a great privilege for the team because of his support of the EcoCAR 2 program. CJ DerGurahian, mechanical subteam member said, “When a person of Mr. Reuss’ stature tells you to keep up the good work, you know you’re doing something special!”
Public Policy Day was Outreach Coordinator Virginia Hyer’s favorite day because she and other HEVT members heard multiple companies speak about advancements in green technologies. Controls subteam member Ryan Carwile enjoyed connecting with fellow hybrid enthusiasts because “I could discuss the design process and talk engineer talk with them without losing them!” Ryan says he also loved the support HEVT received from fellow Hokies at the show.
For CJ, raising awareness on the direction of the automotive industry and EcoCAR 2 is really important. “Not only was I able to get an exclusive viewing of future advanced technology vehicles, but I was able to hear firsthand how the public views them through the explanation of HEVT’s EcoCar.”
Controls subteam member Matt McWhite, who was interviewed by Mexican agency Televisa on Public Policy Day, enjoyed talking to people who were enthusiastic about hybrid technology and hearing their opinions on solutions in the future. “People were really excited to hear about EcoCAR 2 and seemed genuinely interested in the work that we do,” said Matt.
The Auto Show was inspiring for mechanical subteam member Tamara Smith, as she heard from many people at the Auto Show that were excited and supportive of advanced vehicle technologies. Tamara and the other members also enjoyed special visits during the show from characters such as Captain Planet (pictured above).
It was great sharing the SuperHighway with Ohio State and spreading the message of EcoCAR 2 together! Many thanks to the organizers of the Auto Show and everyone who came by to see the team.