methanol-marathon Methanol Marathon

Background

Methanol Marathon (1988-1989) was an alternative fuels competition for 15 colleges and universities in North America. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors Corporation, schools were selected based on the best proposals for converting 1988 Chevrolet Corsicas to operate on M85 (85% methanol, 15% hydrocarbons). General Motors provided kits of specialized parts to assist the schools with the conversion and teams were tasked to re-engineer these vehicles in under five months.

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Innovations & Highlights

The U.S. Department of Energy got 200 eager engineering students and their faculty advisors to spend two years trying to optimize the use of M85 in a production vehicle. The students were expecting a conversion and rally, and they took part in an once-in-a-lifetime experience.  The students also enhanced their chances of finding a job in the automobile business.  Their future employers will benefit from the experience the students acquired.

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Universities Involved

Since the beginning, more than 93 universities across North America and 16,500 students have participated in AVTCs. Each year, 200-500 students join forces in AVTCs mission of educating the next generation of automotive engineers and advancing state-of-the-art fuels and vehicle technologies.

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Winners & Awards

Each year, university teams compete in a variety of static and dynamic events that range from oral presentations to on-road vehicle testing to communications and business tactics. These static and dynamic events are judged by industry sponsors and professionals, both throughout the year and in-person at the year-end competition.

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Sponsors

Sponsors provide the hardware, software, training, and support the teams need to integrate technologies into their competition vehicles.

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Media

Take a look back at the competition by reading previous press coverage, program materials and documents, publications, videos, and photos in the news and media section!

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