Colorado State University’s Vehicle Innovation Team has re-engineered a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu that emits only water as part of the national EcoCAR 2 competition. The student team is hosting a sendoff for its hydrogen-fueled car at 1 p.m. Thursday, March 13 at the Powerhouse Energy Campus, 430 N. College Ave.
The car is being transported to Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois where it will undergo dyno-testing at the federal lab’s Advanced Powertrain Research Facility. The tests will provide the CSU team with critical data about the vehicle before the final round of the ECOCar2 competition in June.
The goal of the sendoff is to publicize the work the CSU team, which consists of approximately 35 graduate and undergraduate students, has put into the car and generate awareness about the program.
David McLean, dean of CSU’s College of Engineering, Susan James, chair of the mechanical engineering department, Wade Troxell, the associate dean for the College of Engineering and a Fort Collins City councilmember, and Bill Beggs, the student team’s mentor from General Motors, will speak at the sendoff, which is free and open to the public.
The CSU team has spent the past three years rebuilding the car for the competition, which is sponsored by General Motors and the U.S. Department of Energy. EcoCAR 2 requires students to explore a variety of powertrain architectures for electric-drive vehicle technology.
The CSU vehicle operates on a combination of compressed hydrogen gas and electricity, and uses no gasoline. Its only emission is clean water produced by a reaction between fuel cells, hydrogen, oxygen and electricity for propulsion.
With the combination of hydrogen gas and electricity, consumers can either charge their vehicle at home or work for short daily commutes (50 or fewer miles) or fill up on hydrogen for trips of 200-plus miles.