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EcoCAR2 Team Ready to Design a Better Chevy Malibu for National Competition

September 26, 2012

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology students are ready to put their innovative ideas into creating a better Chevy Malibu as part of the EcoCAR2 collegiate automotive design-build-drive challenge involving 15 of North America's best engineering colleges.

             Eco Car 2-Coons
  Unveiling EcoCAR2 Vehicle: President Robert A. Coons proudly showcases the 2013 Chevy Malibu, donated by General Motors, that EcoCAR2 team members will re-design into a more efficient and sustainable vehicle.

Team members have received the 2013 Malibu that they will spend the next two years implementing new mechanical and electrical systems that will achieve four primary technical goals:

  • Reduce petroleum consumption
  • Reduce well-to-wheel greenhouse gas emissions
  • Reduce criteria tailpipe emissions
  • Maintain consumer acceptability in the areas of performance, utility and safety

A Malibu was provided to each competing team by General Motors, which joins the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as EcoCAR2 organizers.

"Our students have spent the past year developing math models to predict vehicle performance and creating solid models to package the selected components into the vehicle. They now can begin implementing our innovative ideas into the vehicle," said EcoCAR2 Co-Faculty Advisor Zac Chambers, associate professor of mechanical engineering. "We are very excited. This car is going to be unlike anything we have done before at Rose-Hulman."

The three-year EcoCAR2 program allows teams to follow a real-world Vehicle Development Process (VDP) modeled after GM's VDP. The VDP serves as a roadmap for the engineering process of designing, building and refining their advanced technology vehicles. Following a VDP will give the teams an opportunity to improve their vehicles efficiency while retaining consumer acceptability, performance and safety.

EcoCar 2 - team       
EcoCAR 2 Team: Students and mentors are ready to get to work implementing innovative ideas into the 2013 Chevy Malibu during the next two years of the EcoCAR 2: Plugging Into The Future competition.



Along with the Malibu, GM also provided vehicle components, seed money, technical mentoring and operational support to competing teams. The DOE and its research and development facility, Argonne National Laboratory, provide competition management, team evaluation and logistical support. Siemens PLM Software's NX 3D digital modeling software and MathWorks' MATLAB and Simulink tools allowed Rose-Hulman students to create the integration platforms for their advanced vehicle designs.

Rose-Hulman's advanced transportation systems program has been selected to participate in the GM/DOE-funded ChallengeX, EcoCAR and EcoCAR2 competitions. These teams have earned nine top-three finishes in system modeling, embedded silicon and virtual instrumentation. Female team members earned the Lynn St James Women in Engineering Award for four consecutive years. Other awards included best vehicle appearance, best outreach presentation, best website and best commercial video.

Learn more about Rose-Hulman's EcoCAR2 project.