Knowing When Student Can Drive a Chevy

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The Chevrolet Camaro gulps down gas. Can a bunch of students turn this iconic sports vehicle into a kind of fuel efficiency?

By reducing its fuel consumption and emissions, That’s the work students at 16 colleges across Canada And America will face as they get prepared for the start of a four-year competition run through the Department of Energy that challenges them to reduce the environmental impact of a car.

In previous competitions, one of which is still wrapping up, the teams have competed with ordinary sedans such as the Chevy Malibu. But the Camaro, which nets about 17 miles per gallon and 28 on the highway in its tock model, might be a far tougher challenge.

Officials announced the start of the EcoCar3 competition Thursday in Washington, D.C. Engineering students must figure out a way to turn it into a hybrid-electric car that cuts down on gas without hurting the performance that customers expect, although they remain deciding exactly which style of the sports vehicle will be found in the competition.

Such engineering challenges can help shape the next generation of automotive engineers. James Kolhoff, a global chief engineer and program manager at General Motors, said the organization had gained significant talent and intellectual property on account of its collaborations on previous EcoCar competitions. Now, GM is also eager to observe how the students will redesign and add more efficiency to an iconic muscle car like the Chevrolet Camaro, Kolhoff said.

Fifteen universities are wrapping within the three-year EcoCar2 competition by using a final evaluation scheduled for June 1 to 12, in Milford, Michigan.

Universities scheduled to compete in the following competition, that can reach completion in 2018, are: Arizona State, Cal State, Colorado State, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Georgia Tech, McMaster University (Ontario), Mississippi State, Ohio State, Penn State, Washington, Alabama and Tennessee Waterloo (Ontario), Virginia Tech, Wayne State and West Virginia.