WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Energy has initiated a competition aimed at student engineers that focuses on electric vehicle technology. The EcoCAR Electric Vehicle Challenge is cosponsored by General Motors and MathWorks.

“These budding energy leaders are heeding President Biden’s call to get more Americans into EVs,” says U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm. “Collegiate competitions like EcoCAR are critical to building a clean energy talent pipeline that reflects the diversity of America and make room for more domestic manufacturing to strengthen our energy independence.”

Fifteen teams based in Canada and the United States will demonstrate the potential of advanced propulsion systems, and connected and automated vehicle technologies. Using a Cadillac LYRIQ supplied by GM, they’ll develop a combination of on-board sensors and bidirectional vehicle-to-everything connectivity to enable the export of electricity from EV batteries to other loads, such as recreational uses, homes or supporting the electrical grid.

The EcoCAR Challenge will span four years. Teams will be evaluated annually on their vehicle design and process. Winning teams will be awarded prize money from sponsors to further support their R&D efforts. 

The following institutions are participating in the EcoCAR EV Challenge: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Bethune-Cookman University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Illinois Institute of Technology, McMaster University, Mississippi State University, Ohio State University, the University of Alabama, the University of California-Davis, the University of California-Riverside, the University of Texas, the University of Waterloo, Virginia Tech, West Virginia University and Wilberforce University.