Biodiesel-powered vehicles were the dominating force during this year’s Challenge X… a four-year engineering competition with 17 university teams from across North America developing General Motors vehicles using alternative energies.
Drivers pulled up to the U.S. Department of Energy’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. earlier today in the final 400-mile rally for the competition. This press release from GM says a group of Bulldogs from Mississippi State University ending up taking top honors:
The Mississippi State team designed a through-the-road parallel hybrid electric vehicle powered by a 1.9L GM direct injection turbo diesel engine fueled by bio diesel (B20). It achieved a 38 percent increase in fuel economy over the production vehicle on a modified urban test cycle.
The second place vehicle, engineered by students at the University of Wisconsin is a through-the-road parallel hybrid electric vehicle with a 1.9L GM direct injection turbo diesel engine fueled by B20. Ohio State University was awarded third place for its power-split hybrid electric vehicle powered by a 1.9L GM direct injection turbo diesel engine and fueled by B20.
“I want to congratulate this year’s Challenge X champion, Mississippi State University, and all of the other participants for their innovative designs and applications of advanced clean vehicle technologies,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman said. “This competition is a unique demonstration of how tremendous technological advancements that are occurring at universities across North America can help us achieve a new energy future — one that is cleaner, more sustainable, more affordable, more secure and less reliant on carbon-based fossil fuels.”
A dozen biodiesel-powered vehicles took part in the competition, while hydrogen was another popular fuel source. You can read more about Challenge X at the competition’s web site: www.challengex.org and the GM FastLane Blog.