Ohio State Wins EcoCar2 With E85 Plug-In Hybrid Chevy Malibu

JUN 24 2014 BY MIKE ANTHONY 3

The US Department of Energy and General Motors reports that Ohio State University (OSU) was the overall winner of the EcoCAR2 challenge.

EcoCar2 Logo.

EcoCar2 Logo.

The OSU team’s vehicle is a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu with a series-parallel plug-in that features an A123 18.9 kWh battery pack with an 80 kW peak electric motor paired with a single speed gear box on the rear axle. It is powered by a 1.8L high compression-ratio engine recalibrated to run on E85 gasoline, with an 80 kW peak electric motor to provide power to the front wheels through its 6-speed automated manual transmission. It is capable of operating in charge-depleting, charge-sustaining and charge-sustaining parallel modes.

EcoCAR2 was a three-year competition managed by Argonne National Laboratory by the US Department of Energy, GM, and 30 other government industry leaders.

Students had the opportunity to obtain experience in engineering, while attempting to make the most efficient 2013 Chevrolet Malibu.

During those 3 years, the organizers claimed that OSU met the incremental goals throughout which strengthened their position over other universities.  OSU’s vehicle was at GM’s Proving Grounds in Milford, MI earlier this month where it was put through a number of technical and safety test that are similar to the ones used for rear-world production vehicles.

The Malibu achieved 50 Miles per gallon gas equivalent (MPGE) while using 315 Wh/mile of electricity.  The result was listed as a reduction of 50% in the amount of emissions produced compared to the base Malibu.

The team that took second-place was the University of Washington (UW). Its vehicle was a B20 biodiesel parallel plug-in hybrid with 60 MPGE and 333 Wh / mi of electricity. It had the lowest well-to-wheel greenhouse gas emissions.

The objective of cleaner vehicles is clear as Vice President of Global Product Integrity, General Motors, Ken Morris stated:

“For the past three years all 15 EcoCAR 2 teams have worked tirelessly to design the next generation of clean vehicles and we have seen exceptional outcomes. Ohio State stood out amongst the competition and truly did an outstanding job. All of the teams have helped advance innovative vehicle technology and improve the automotive industry and we thank them for their hard work, dedication and enthusiasm for this program.”

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3 Comments on "Ohio State Wins EcoCar2 With E85 Plug-In Hybrid Chevy Malibu"

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David Murray
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David Murray

Why does 50 MPGe not sound all that impressive?

BraveLilToaster
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BraveLilToaster

Yes, exactly, since simply replacing the drivetrain with that of a Nissan Leaf would net at *least* 80 MPGe, assuming that the base Malibu is heavier and less aerodynamic than the Leaf. If it’s not, then you’d get at least 95 MPGe, if you’re not particularly gentle on the Go pedal.

And doesn’t the stock Prius get over 50 MPGe?

Anon
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Anon

GM, still trying to catch up to the Prius… 🙁