Students transform Chevy Malibu for EcoCAR 2 competition

Students transform Chevy Malibu for EcoCAR 2 competition

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(WJBK) - A high-pressure competition is underway right now at the GM proving grounds in Milford.

Industry experts are testing and examining eco cars, which are engineered by college students in Michigan and across North America.

EcoCAR 2 project manager Idan Kovent took FOX 2's Robin Schwartz for a ride in Wayne State's eco car, E2D2.

The car started as a donated 2013 Chevy Malibu.Now, it's a gasoline electric hybrid that runs on a battery and E85.

Over the last three years, a team of 40 students worked to reduce the car's environmental impact as part of the EcoCAR 2 challenge, improving fuel efficiency and cutting emissions while retaining the vehicle's performance and customer appeal.

"We had to tear apart a lot of the pieces of the original vehicle and redesign them, rebuild them, install a lot of bigger electric components," says Kovent.

The car is now a full hybrid that can drive 40 to 50 miles on electricity alone.

Just days before judging everything seemed to be running smoothly.

Then, we suddenly discovered a glitch - but a few quick adjustments and Kovent and Schwartz were back on the road.

Despite the hiccup, students are confident about their unique design which includes two drive trains.

They're competing against 14 other teams from across the U.S. and Canada for about 100 thousand dollars in prizes, and they're hoping to win!

"We're not maybe optimized and all the way ready for selling the vehicle but against the other universities and we hope some of them will have some problems and then we can get around and get a pretty good score on that," says Kovent.
 
The competition goes until June 12.

Once they wrap up in Milford the teams will spend a week in Washington, D.C. presenting their work.

Online: www.ecocar2.org


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