|Virginia tech team and their winning hybrid.|
The Virginia Tech team re-engineered their 2005 Chevrolet Equinox as a split-parallel hybrid with a 2.0-liter E85 flex-fuel engine (a Saab BioPower engine) and a 67 kW motor with a 288V NiMH battery pack.
In second place vehicle was the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with a through-the-road parallel diesel-electric hybrid with a 1.9-liter turbocharged diesel. Mississippi State University took third place overall with a split-parallel, through-the-road diesel-electric hybrid. Both those vehicles ran on B20 biodiesel.
Challenge X is a three-year engineering competition sponsored by GM and the Department of Energy. Seventeen university teams are each re-engineering a stock 2005 Chevy Equinox with their own technology solutions.
The first year of the program, which began in 2004, focused on vehicle simulation and modeling and subsystem development and testing. For this year, the teams focused on powertrain development and demonstration of the energy use and emissions goals of the competition. Team vehicles were judged extensively in categories such as towing capacity, acceleration, off-road performance, greenhouse gas impact, total well-to-wheels fuel economy, emissions, and consumer acceptability. Teams also had to give technical oral presentations and submit an SAE-style technical paper.
Year Three will require further refinement of the vehicle with the goal of delivering a “showroom vehicle” that addresses the requirements of consumers.
Developing the advanced technologies that reduce US dependence on imported oil is critical to the future prosperity of our country. Challenge X shows that the cooperation of industry, government and academia is an excellent approach to developing more energy-efficient and “greener” automotive technologies.—Ed Wall, DOE program manager for FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies Office
The additional teams participating in Challenge X include: Michigan Technological University; Pennsylvania State University; Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology; San Diego State University; Texas Tech University; The Ohio State University; University of Akron; University of California, Davis; University of Michigan; University of Tennessee; University of Texas at Austin; University of Tulsa; University of Waterloo; and West Virginia University.
Challenge X 2006 Team Technologies and Configurations