Texas Tech Students Receive Automobile for Eco-friendly Transformation

Vehicle donated by GM to get makeover as car of the future

A team of Texas Tech University engineering students received the vehicle that they will transform into a next-generation eco-friendly car. The vehicle was donated by General Motors. The students intend to prove that they are the next generation of automotive engineers who will design and build the environmentally-friendly automobiles of the future. EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge, along with its headline sponsors, the U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors (GM), challenges 17 universities from across the U.S. and Canada to redesign and reengineer a GM vehicle to further minimize fuel consumption and reduce emissions while retaining its performance and consumer appeal. EcoCARseeks to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers by giving them the tools and experience necessary to design a more energy-efficient future. In the first year of the competition, beginning in the fall of 2008, the 17 teams designed a virtual model of their vehicle using advanced software and computer modeling tools. This year, the second year of the competition, the teams are challenged to turn their cutting-edge simulations into reality. In the third year, teams will take the vehicles to the road for a series of challenges. As the student engineers from Texas Tech embark on the second phase of the challenge, they will turn the vehicle into a two-mode hybrid powered by a 1.6L European GM 4 cylinder engine and fueled by Ethanol 85. “EcoCAR gives students hands-on design and engineering experience,” said Tim Maxwell, professor of mechanical engineering and co-head of the advanced vehicle engineering lab at Texas Tech.  “Our students have worked hard this past year, and they are excited for the opportunity to integrate their designs into the vehicle.”  Additional information about the EcoCAR competition, and photos are available on the Web at: http://www.ecocarchallenge.orghttp://www.green-garage.orghttp://archive.ecocarphoto.com/c/ecocarphoto  CONTACT: Jeff Sammons, Whitacre College of Engineering, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-3451, or jeff.sammons@ttu.edu.