Mississippi State Takes Top Green Dog At EcoCar Challenge

When it comes to green cars, some of the best minds in the South appear to have moved to the head of the class. That’s the conclusion you’d draw, at least, from the results of GM’s recent 2010 EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge.

Pulling in at first place with their biodiesel extended-range electric vehicle (EREV) was Mississippi State University, beating out Virginia Tech (who came in second) and 14 other universities in Year Two Finals of the three-year competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors (GM). The competition challenges university engineering students from across North America to re-imagine and re-engineer a GM-donated vehicle to minimize fuel consumption and emissions while maintaining utility, safety and performance.

EcoCARWinner

image via GM

This competition in its second year challenged teams to utilize cutting-edge automotive engineering processes, such as Hardware in the Loop (HIL) simulation, to move their designs into the physical vehicles–and then to test those vehicles the same way GM would, at the company’s Desert Proving Grounds in Yuma, AZ. The winning teams will be available to answer questions about their cars during an online chat on Friday, June 4 at 3 p.m. EDT (more information on the competition website).

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.