Rose-Hulman Students to Unveil New EcoCAR Effort

Inside INdiana Business relays the story of one of Indiana’s fine educational institutions as its students work toward the ever-elusive game changer in the world of sustainable driving. Kudos to Rose-Hulman, and good luck in the competition:

Under development for two academic years, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology students are set to unveil a prototype advanced technology vehicle that has been designed to achieve improved fuel economy and reduced greenhouse gas emissions for EcoCAR: The Next Challenge, a national engineering design competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors Corporation to encourage energy-conscious advanced transportation engineers.

A special unveiling ceremony and information session is set for Friday, May 7, from 2:30-3:15 p.m. on the patio of the Hulman Union. The public is invited to come and examine the vehicle and talk with team members about the project.

Students have spent countless hours developing a hybrid-electric sport utility vehicle that features a 1.3-liter Fiat diesel engine using B-20 diesel fuel, a four speed automatic GM transmission, two TM4 electric motors arranged in a parallel pre-post transmission architecture and an innovative, high-performance battery system provided by Indiana advanced lithium-ion battery maker EnerDel Inc.

Rose-Hulman’s vehicle will be shipped on Saturday, May 8, to participate in the EcoCAR’s Year II Competition Finals being conducted May 17-27 at the GM Desert Proving Ground in Yuma, Ariz., and at locations throughout San Diego, Calif. The vehicle will be judged in more than a dozen technical events, and must meet California Air Resources Board (CARB) zero emission vehicle (ZEV) regulations.

Rose-Hulman is the only Indiana college or university among 16 North American teams selected to participate in EcoCAR, a three-year competition that demonstrates leading-edge advanced transportation technologies.

"EcoCAR is real-world engineering. This experience gives Rose-Hulman students the opportunity for hands-on learning and valuable skills preparing them for careers as the next generation of engineers to develop clean vehicle solutions," said Rose-Hulman Team Co-Faculty Advisor Zac Chambers, associate professor of mechanical engineering. The team’s other advisor is Marc Herniter, professor of electrical and computer engineering.