EcoCAR 2, the government-sponsored competition for a more eco-friendly vehicle, has announced Pennsylvania State University as its second winner of the three-year competition. The announcement was made in San Diego.

The 15 participating universities met in late May in Yuma, Arizona, where inspectors and judges subjected their test vehicle—a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu—to six days of evaluations and rigorous testing at the General Motors (GM) Desert Proving Grounds. Pennsylvania won this year’s competition with its ethanol plug-in hybrid electric powertrain. Cal State Los Angles’ ethanol-powered vehicle took second place and Ohio State University placed third series-parallel hybrid design.

States David Danielson, Assistant Secretary for the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, “The students competing in EcoCAR 2 are leading the way in designing and building the next generation of American-made automobiles that will reduce our dependence on oil and save families and businesses money at the pump. I look forward to seeing these teams’ creative, super efficient vehicle designs in the final round of the competition next year in Washington, D.C.”

2013 chevrolet malibu ecocar 2
Image courtesy of EcoCAR 2

Argonne National Laboratory, which manages the EcoCAR 2 contest, and GM conducted the evaluations. The automaker is one of the competition’s sponsors as well, which includes the the U.S. Department of Energy and 30 other government departments and industry bodies as well.

Mississippi State University won last year’s contest. The 15 universities include California State University, Los Angeles; Colorado State University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Mississippi State University, North Carolina State University, The Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, University of Tennessee, University of Victoria, University of Washington, University of Waterloo, Virginia Tech and Wayne State University.

Their teams will now spend the rest of 2013 readying their cars for the third and final contest which will be held on May 14, 2014 at Washington, D.C.

Adds John Haraf, director of hybrid vehicle integration and controls over at GM, “These students are the next generation of engineers who will help make that vision a reality, and their hard work and dedication throughout the first two years shows they can rise to the challenge.”

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