Advanced Vehicle Team unveils its new set of wheels

A team of Penn State engineering students recently took delivery of a 2009 Saturn Vue that will be used in an advanced vehicle technology engineering contest sponsored by the Department of Energy and General Motors.

The competition, EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge, pits 17 university teams across North America to redesign and re-engineer a 2009 Saturn Vue hybrid to further minimize fuel consumption and reduce emissions while retaining the vehicle's performance and consumer appeal.

The Penn State vehicle was revealed to the public on Monday, Oct. 5, at the Penn State Advanced Vehicle Team's research facility on Hastings Road.

"EcoCAR gives students hands-on design and engineering experience," said Gary Neal, an engineering faculty member and research engineer with the Applied Research Laboratory. "Our students have worked hard this past year and they are excited for the opportunity to integrate their designs into the vehicle."

Over the next few months, the students will turn the Saturn into an extended range electric vehicle powered by a 1.3-liter diesel engine to drive a 75 kW electric generator.

The Penn State vehicle also will feature a 120 kW electronic traction system and run on B20 biodiesel.

Students from the Department of Electrical Engineering are designing a new dashboard for the crossover.

The three-year EcoCAR contest is designed to help train the next generation of automotive engineers and scientists. The competition is managed by the Argonne National Laboratory.

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Last Updated October 07, 2009