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11/9/2015 | 1 MINUTE READ

Mar-Bal working with universities on EcoCAR 3 competition

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EcoCAR 3 is challenging 16 North American university teams to redesign a Chevrolet Camaro to reduce its environmental impact.


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The Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team of Virginia Tech (HEVT) is comprised of around 50 undergraduate students who are competing in EcoCAR 3, a collegiate competition sponsored by General Motors and the U.S. Department of Energy. Sixteen colleges are participating in the competition, with the goal to reengineer a 2016 Chevrolet Camaro to be more fuel-efficient, all while maintaining aspects such as safety and performance.

EcoCAR 3 is split into four one-year phases, with a competition at the end of each phase. Currently, HEVT is in year two of the competition, the design phase. HEVT placed second at year one competition.

West Virginia University (WVU) is also participating in EcoCAR 3. HEVT is serving as a mentor to WVU, assisting with the technical standpoint of the project. However, each team has mutually assisted each other along the way.

“The Year Two Competition is focused on the continuation of the engineering design process and the beginning of the vehicle build,” said William Dvorkin, HEVT EcoCar 3 project manager. “For us to score well this year, all components must be installed in our vehicle, and it needs to be able to safely operate with basic functionality." 

Mar-Bal (Chagrin Falls, OH, US), a compounder and molder of thermoset composite products, has sponsored both VT and WVU EcoCAR 3 teams, and has spoken to the teams to raise awareness about composites.

“The EcoCar 3 project represents one of our university outreach programs and we are very excited to be working with Virginia Tech and West Virginia University on this revolutionary development,” stated Ron Poff, director of global marketing and brands for Mar-Bal. “We started 2015 with a strategic marketing plan to engage with the university community - both students and faculty – to share the benefits and advantages of composites while also developing relationships with the next generation of engineers. We feel that these relationships will help to drive potential commercialization of academic research, increase the awareness of composites and ultimately grow the specification of composites in the future. It has been a pleasure to get to know the engineering students at both Virginia Tech and West Virginia University over the past few months. Their eagerness to expand their knowledge base about composites and also get to know more about manufacturing has been very energizing.”


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