EcoCAR 2

Over the course of three years, EcoCAR 2 teams reduced the environmental impact of a Chevrolet Malibu by minimizing the vehicle’s fuel consumption and reducing its emissions while retaining the vehicle’s performance, safety and consumer appeal.


Teams had to meet the competition’s technical goals which were to design and integrate vehicle powertrains that, when compared to the production gasoline vehicle (1) reduce petroleum energy consumption on the basis of a total-fuel-cycle well-to-wheel (WTW) analysis, (2) increase vehicle energy efficiency, (3) reduce WTW greenhouse gas (GHG) and criteria emissions; and (4) maintain consumer acceptability in the areas of performance, utility and safety.



  • In the fall of Year One, teams used numerical modeling software to evaluate different powertrains, including CAD for component packaging and Autonomie or other powertrain systems modeling software for energy use modeling
  • Colorado State University demonstrated 0-60 MPH acceleration time of 11.2 seconds in Year Two Competition – the best time of the year
  • EcoCAR 2 implemented a more real-world, 4-cycle drive cycle for the emissions and energy consumption event to reflect current test methods at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Teams refined aerodynamics ESS cooling design through CFD analysis
  • Virginia Tech, Mississippi State, and other EcoCAR 2 teams implemented electronic touch-screen center stack systems with intuitive user interface capabilities into their vehicles
  • The competition added upstream criteria (CO, NOx, THC) emission testing into the scored deliverables to account for the well-to-pump impact of vehicle fuels on urban air quality
  • The competition measured and scored electric energy consumption for vehicles in addition to fuel consumption – a first for AVTCs
  • In Year Two, 11 out of 15 teams attempted the 100+ mile emissions and energy consumption event
  • Ohio State University developed a vehicle powertrain model that could simulate wheel slip and traction control simulation
  • Teams were able to seamlessly transition the development cycle of model in the loop to hardware and software-in-the-loop to vehicle testing
  • The University of Washington developed a tactile shape changing touch screen using overlay technology
  • Teams like the University of Waterloo and Colorado State University utilized 3D printing for vehicle development
  • Mississippi State University and Colorado State University developed carbon fiber energy storage system enclosures
  • Teams like Ohio State University and Virginia Tech worked with suppliers to design custom electric motors
  • Colorado State University designed and built their own fuel cell stacks for their hydrogen vehicle