University of Washington students took second place in a national collegiate competition to turn a stock car into a super-efficient hybrid vehicle.
The UW competed against 14 other colleges in the EcoCAR 2 challenge, sponsored by General Motors and the U.S. Department of Energy. The three-year-long competition tested the ability of students to strip down a gas-powered Chevy Malibu and turn it into a hybrid using novel approaches.
The UW students put a biodiesel engine in the front of the car, and a 250-horsepower battery-powered electric motor in the rear. The car can go 48 miles on an electric charge before switching to biodiesel, and both engines can also be used simultaneously to give the car extra pep and four-wheel-drive power.
The team also won the top award for best 0-60 mph time (6.95 seconds), lowest greenhouse gas emissions and lowest energy consumption.
They’ve already been chosen to compete in the next EcoCAR challenge, dubbed EcoCAR 3.