AVTC History

About AVTC

Since 1988, the U.S. Department of Energy has sponsored Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions (AVTCs) in partnership with the North American automotive industry. Managed by Argonne National Laboratory, AVTCs represent a unique coalition of government, industry and academic partners who join forces to execute North America’s premier collegiate automotive engineering competitions. AVTCs provide a challenging, real-world training ground for North America’s future engineers, business and communications students, and automotive leaders and accelerate the development and demonstration of technologies of interest to the DOE and the automotive industry.

Featuring opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students from a variety of disciplines including engineering, business, program management and communications, these competitions challenge students beyond the traditional classroom environment. Students re-engineer a donated production vehicle to improve energy efficiency and to meet the toughest emissions standards, while maintaining the features that make it attractive to the customer: performance, consumer acceptability, safety, and cost. Students incorporate advanced powertrains and alternative fuels as well as their own innovative technologies to maximize their vehicle efficiency and performance results. Students apply their theoretical knowledge to solve not only complex engineering challenges, but to also learn valuable leadership and project management skills, as well as public relations, marketing and business development.

AVTCs also provide significant technical, educational, and promotional benefits to DOE and the nation. More than 16,500 students from 93 educational institutions in North America have participated, gaining real-world, hands-on experience tackling the challenges associated with building fuel-efficient vehicles.