PORTLAND, Ore. A Mississippi State University team has won the Challenge X auto fuel-efficiency competition sponsored by the U.S. Energy Department and General Motors.
The Challenge X competition aims to design the world's most fuel efficient car--in this case a Chevrolet Equinox. GM donated cars and Freescale Semiconductor donated almost $2 million in development boards, Power Architecture processors and software.
The Mississippi State team was one of 17 teams competing in the challenge. They converted a Chevrolet Equinox into a hybrid electric vehicle. Powered by a 1.9-liter GM direct injection turbo diesel engine, the vehicle burned biodiesel (B20) fuel to achieve a 38-percent increase in fuel economy over a production Equinox.
The team's "through-the-road" design allowed the engine to directly drive the front wheels while the rear wheels run an electric generator to charge the batteries. When needed, the battery delivers extra power to the rear traction motor which drives the rear wheels.
First place in Freescale's "Silicon on the Move Award" went to the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Second and third place went to the University of Wisconsin (Madison) and Ohio State University, respectively.