Year Two Winners Are In! Mississippi State Takes Top Honors, VT and Penn State Come in Second and Third

It’s official! Today Mississippi State earned the highest score of 844 out of a possible 1000 points and placed first in the 2010 EcoCAR Year Two Finals in San Diego this morning!  Their exceptionally designed extended-range electric (EREV) vehicle utilizes biodiesel, UQM electric motors, and a battery pack provided by A123 Systems.  Huge congratulations are also due to second-place winner Virginia Technological Institute, and third-place winner Pennsylvania State University.


Mississippi State University's EcoCAR team accepts top honors at San Diego House of Blues today

“I’m really glad to see that all our hard work and dedication paid off in the end,” said Ryan Williams, mechanical team leader for Mississippi State’s team. “Being in a competition of this caliber is an honor in itself, and we are thrilled to be a part of it. The competition is really stiff.”

“I am unbelievably proud of these young people,” said Dr. Marshall Molen, Faculty Advisor for the Mississippi State team. “The professionalism they have demonstrated and the engineering aptitude they showed during the competition clearly distinguishes them from the other teams, it’s not a surprise that they have excelled to where they are today.”

During the awards ceremony, Karl Strake, VP for Global Development at General Motors also addressed the teams. “When I look at the team members during this competition, I see passion in their eyes,” said Strake. “That is what we need in this industry, and for the future of automobiles.

Right after the ceremony at San Diego’s House of Blues, we grabbed MSU team member Thomas Goddette to get his reaction to taking the top prize:

Green Garage: It’s been a long two weeks. Pick three words to describe how you’re feeling right now.


Thomas Goddette: “Excited. Relieved. Tired.”

GG: What’s going to happen in the next 24 hours?

TG: “We’re all going to crash, but there may be some celebrating later.”

GG: You’ve conquered this year. What’s next? How will you do it again?

TG: “The great thing about Yuma was that we were able to build and test vehicle at same time we were learning about what we needed to improve upon. During the past week, we discovered strengths and faults of the vehicle, what we needed to focus on and what we don’t need to focus on for Year Three. That will help us.”

GG: The green aspects of your car are incredible. It gets an electric range of 60 miles and 118 miles per gallon gas equivalent (combined city/highway cycle). How did you do it?

TG: “To start, the months leading up finals have been crazy and we used every moment of free time to get the vehicle where we wanted to be. We logged a lot of hours at CAVS, our ‘green garage.’ But I’d say we reached our fuel economy and consumption goals with an expert control strategy and a focus on picking the right components to do the job we needed the vehicle to do.”

GG: What’s your secret weapon?

TG: “The support of school. The university as whole has been really supportive and Professor Marshall Molen, our faculty advisor, was a huge help. Bill Beggs from GM, who is our mentor, was also great. Without the help from them, we couldn’t do what we did today.  It’s a great feeling to know that we won but it’s the competition from the other schools that keep us on our toes and looking forward to next year.”

For more information and to read the press release on this year’s winners, click here. For photos and videos from the entire finals week, please click here.

Don’t forget to join the Mississippi State, Virginia Tech, and Penn State teams on Friday, June 4 at 3:00 p.m. EDT for an online chat about their winning vehicles, Year Two highlights and what’s ahead in the final year of the EcoCAR competition! The Web chat will take place right here on Inside the Green Garage blog. No early registration is required, just be sure to mark your calendars!

Finally, it’s been a long few weeks of hard work, big accomplishments and even some laughs. Check out the highlights from Year Two Finals captured in 6 minutes. Great job to all the teams!!