The U.S. Department of Energy had teamed up with General Motors (GM) and MathWorks and have launched EcoCAR Electric Vehicle (EV) Challenge.
EcoCAR Electric Vehicle (EV) Challenge is a collegiate research and experimental learning competition that challenges hundreds of students to engineer novel technologies for battery electric vehicles through a combined $6 million investment.
“These budding energy leaders are heeding President Biden’s call to get more Americans into EVs,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Collegiate competitions like EcoCAR are critical to building a clean energy talent pipeline that reflects the diversity of America and makes room for more domestic manufacturing to strengthen our energy independence.”
GM will provide student teams across 15 academic institutions — including five Minority Serving Institutions — with a Cadillac LYRIQ, the brand’s first all-electric vehicle, to develop and demonstrate technology that utilizes automation and vehicle-to-everything connectivity.
Along with empowering the next generation of clean energy innovators, the EcoCAR Challenge will support President Biden’s goals to electrify the American automobile sector to achieve greater affordability, reliability and security for all.
Selected teams will demonstrate the potential of connected and automated vehicle technologies, which allow for semi-autonomous vehicles and advanced propulsion systems to improve energy efficiency.
This technology can improve safety along roadways while supporting emissions reductions within the transportation sector.
The teams will also use a combination of on-board sensors and bidirectional vehicle-to-everything connectivity to enable the export of electricity from electric vehicle batteries to other loads like recreational uses, homes, or supporting the electrical grid.
The challenge will span four years and after each year, teams will be evaluated on their vehicle design and process. Each year, winning teams will be awarded prize money from EcoCAR sponsors to further support their program.
The EcoCAR EV Challenge, managed by DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory, builds on a 34-year history of DOE Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions that have embodied the heart of American automotive ingenuity.
More than 27,000 students from 93 unique educational institutions have participated to date, seeding the industry with engineers who have helped redefine the automobile over the last three decades.