What do you get when you combine automotive engineering students, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and General Motors (GM)?
The answer can be found in Austin, Texas today: Teams of students from 15 universities across North America have gathered as part of EcoCAR 2: Plugging into the Future, a 3-year collegiate engineering competition aimed at reducing the environmental impact of autos without compromising performance, safety and consumer acceptability.

Austin is already a green-friendly city, but it will become even more so when these engineers of the future arrive for the EcoCAR 2 Winter Workshop and show off their advanced vehicle designs.

Established in 2011 by the DOE and GM, EcoCAR is designed to educate the next generation of automotive engineers by challenging student teams to reduce the environmental impact of a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu. The hands-on research with leading-edge automotive propulsion, fuels, materials and emissions-control technologies gives students real-world experience in addressing critical issues facing energy and the environment.

During the workshop, student teams will present newly-developed vehicle architectures, business plan updates and youth education proposals that will affect their standing in the competition. The workshop is also an opportunity for students to receive in-depth training on components and tools donated by sponsors including GM, Freescale and dSPACE.

Stay tuned for further updates on this next-generation automobile competition. For more information on EcoCar2, visit www.ecocar2.org or read the Inside the Green Garage Blog.