Students at Colorado State University (CSU) will be building the only hydrogen fuel cell vehicle which is also a plug-in electric vehicle. The students will be using a donated 2013 Chevy Malibu for the conversion and entering it into the three-year EcoCAR 2 competition.
The EcoCAR 2 competition is being sponsored by the Argonne National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy plus 21 other industry and government leaders.
According to CSU, “Much like the challenges facing automakers, EcoCAR engineering students must balance the challenge of increasing the vehicle’s energy efficiency and reducing the vehicle’s greenhouse gas emissions and petroleum consumption with maintaining performance, safety and overall consumer acceptability of the original Malibu.
“To meet these technical challenges, each EcoCAR team designed their own unique Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) architecture and used what industry calls a crowd-sourcing format to select the powertrain components that they will integrate into their advanced technology vehicles. This technique mimics industry’s global vehicle development process.”
The competition actually started in April 2011 and the first year was devoted to computer design and mathematical calculations. In May 2012, the students will receive the Chevy Malibu and will have 2 years to complete the conversion process before having to show off their results.