John Davis

Challenge X logoLooking to beat the three-and-half bucks a gallon gasoline sweeping the country… but don’t want to give up the size and security of your SUV? Students at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology have built a sport utility vehicle able to get up to 35 miles a gallon.

They’ve put together a biodiesel hybrid electric Chevy Equinox in General Motors’ Challenge X engineering competition.

Check out this story posted on PlanetSave.com:

The sport utility vehicle will be tested alongside vehicles produced by 16 other North American colleges and universities at the end of the third year of the international challenge. The competition will be conducted at the General Motors Corporation’s Proving Grounds in Milford, Mich., on May 30 to June 7.

About 45 students worked throughout this past school year to replace the stock gasoline engine with the biodiesel power plant. Not only did they kick up the fuel economy, but they also improved acceleration:

“We have completely stripped down a brand new vehicle (Equinox) and put it back together again, with several new features, in less than two years,” stated senior mechanical engineering major Clint Hammes, the team’s mechanical integration team leader. “We have a vehicle that’s filled with cutting-edge technology and innovative features.”

GM originally intended to wrap up the Challenge X program this year, but due to popularity, officials are extending it to next year.

Biodiesel, Car Makers