The National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium recently joined the West Virginia University (WVU) EcoCAR3 team to conduct an event to educate local high school students about electric drive vehicles and other alternative fuel technologies.

The display included the NAFTC Alternative Energy Learning Center and Hybrid Electric Vehicle Training Educator (HEVTE).

The Alternative Energy Learning Center is a customized mobile trailer equipped with alternative fuel vehicle movies, quizzes, fueling components, and other training aids for students to view, study, and interact with
HEVTE is a third-generation Prius with portions of the outer body removed, which allowed students to easily and safely interact and see the inner workings of the vehicle. Students were able to scan QR codes located on HEVTE which linked to a website with more in depth information about the vehicle and its electric components.

The EcoCAR team talked about their project and introduced their Chevy Camaro concept car, which is expected to achieve a highway gas mileage rating of 38 MPG. The Camaro concept is a hybrid system that uses gasoline and an internal combustion engine to charge an electric battery.

Caitlin Worrell, the communications assistant for the West Virginia University EcoCAR3 team said the presentation was a good way to introduce young minds to the potential for STEM majors at WVU, “The EcoCAR3 team gave students an overview of the four-year competition and highlighted different areas within the STEM field to show students the many opportunities within the program.”

“Additionally, our hybrid scavenger hunt challenged students with new concepts and new technology, helping them gain a better understanding of hybrid design,” she added.

October 2016 - Eco1

WVU EcoCAR3 team members worked with the University High School Students to complete worksheets on alternative fuel vehicles. Credit: NAFTC.

While the EcoCAR3 team wasn’t able to bring their Camaro to the event, HEVTE allowed the team to show the students some of the components they are designing and building for their vehicle.

October 2016 - Eco2

University High School Students watched educational videos about alternative fuels in the Alternative Energy Learning Center, looking for clues to complete the scavenger hunt. Credit: NAFTC.

EcoCAR3 is the latest U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition series. As North America’s premier collegiate automotive engineering competition, EcoCAR3 is challenging 16 North American university teams to redesign a Chevrolet Camaro to reduce its environmental impact, while maintaining the muscle and performance expected from this iconic American car. Sponsored by DOE and General Motors and managed by Argonne National Laboratory, teams have five years (2014-2018) to harness those ideas into the ultimate energy-efficient, high performance vehicle. The Camaro will keep its iconic body design, while student teams develop and integrate energy efficient powertrains that maximize performance, while retaining the safety and high consumer standards of the Camaro. Teams also will incorporate alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies that will lower greenhouse gas and tailpipe emissions.

NAFTC Director Bill Davis commented, “By presenting to UHS students, the NAFTC and WVU EcoCAR3 team hope to inspire the minds of our youth to begin thinking about what contributions they can make to engineering, science, and automotive technology that will lead to a better future with cleaner air, and less dependence on foreign oil.”

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