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CALIFORNIA STUDENT-BUILT ELECTRIC VEHICLES ON THE ROAD TO NATIONAL COMPETITION

 DEARBORN, Mich., May 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Engineering students from seven universities across California are heading to Detroit, with hard -- and fast -- proof that they can be on the cutting edge of automobile technology.
 With California legislation leading the country toward the common use of alternative fuel vehicles, it's understandable that the state leads all others with seven of the 30 schools participating in the Hybrid Electric Vehicle Challenge, a unique event co-sponsored by Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F).
 To prepare for this competition, these engineering students have been working for 18 months to design a unique "hybrid" electric vehicle -- one that is primarily battery-powered but also is supplemented by a combustion engine fueled by gasoline, ethanol or methanol. The seven schools include Cal Poly Pomona, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Cal State Northridge, Stanford University, UC Davis, UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara.
 On June 1, the teams will arrive with their cars in Michigan to compete in a five-day series of laboratory and over-the-road competitions. In the first several days of "preliminaries," the vehicles will be rated on emissions, energy efficiency, safety, performance and overall design. Then the teams will put the pedal to the metal -- as the event culminates with a 100-mile driving range test from Dearborn to the Michigan International Speedway in rural Brooklyn, Mich., on June 4, and a 22-mile stop-and-go "commuter" driving test at Ford's Dearborn Proving Ground on June 5.
 Ford created the HEV Challenge to encourage engineering students to look toward the future in developing electric vehicles as a practical solution to promote cleaner air and energy conservation. While many automakers are racing to bring electric vehicles to market by the late 1990s, the industry still is actively seeking technological "breakthroughs" -- and Ford hopes to get a few ideas from the novice inventors at the HEV Challenge.
 The event is co-sponsored by the United States Department of Energy and the Society of Automotive Engineers and is being spearheaded by an all-volunteer team of nearly 100 engineers recently hired by Ford.
 "This is an important opportunity to strengthen relations between the automotive industry and learning institutions," said Dr. John P. McTague, Ford vice president - Technical Affairs. "We want to challenge college students to think ahead to the future of automotive engineering.
 "Ford recruiters also will keep sharp eyes on the student competitors, looking for promising students that could be tomorrow's Ford engineers," McTague said.
 Ford is busy continuing development of its own fleet of alternative fuel vehicles, including those that run on natural gas, methanol, liquefied petroleum gas (propane) and electricity. Ford's pilot electric vehicle -- the Ecostar -- will be introduced into test fleets in North America and Europe this year. The company also has natural gas-powered Ford Econoline vans and Crown Victoria sedans running in field tests. And 2,000 Ford Taurus Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFVs) -- which run on methanol, gasoline or a combination of the two -- are being built for retail sale, mostly in California, this year.
 FORD HYBRID ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHALLENGE
 PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS
 CONVERSION CLASS
 California State University,
 Northridge Northridge, Calif.
 Colorado School of Mines Golden, Colo.
 Colorado State University Fort Collins, Colo.
 Concordia University Montreal, Quebec
 Jordan College Energy Institute Comstock Park, Mich.
 Pennsylvania State University University Park, Pa.
 Seattle University Seattle
 Stanford University Stanford, Calif.
 Texas Tech University Lubbock, Texas
 United States Naval Academy Annapolis, Md.
 University of Alberta Edmonton, Alberta
 University of California, Irvine Irvine, Calif.
 University of Illinois Urbana, Ill.
 University of Wisconsin Madison, Wis.
 Washington University, St. Louis St. Louis
 Wayne State University Detroit
 Weber State University Ogden, Utah
 West Virginia University Morgantown, W.Va.
 GROUND-UP CLASS
 California Polytechnic State
 University, SLO San Luis Obispo, Calif.
 California State Polytechnic
 University, Pomona Pomona, Calif.
 Cornell University Ithaca, N.Y.
 Lawrence Technological University Southfield, Mich.
 Michigan State University East Lansing, Mich.
 New York Institute of Technology Old Westbury, N.Y.
 University of California, Davis Davis, Calif.
 University of California,
 Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, Calif.
 University of Idaho/
 Washington State University Moscow, Idaho/Pullman, Wash.
 University of Tennessee Knoxville, Tenn.
 University of Texas, Arlington Arlington, Texas
 University of Tulsa Tulsa, Okla.
 -0- 5/28/93
 /NOTE: Ford Hybrid Electric Vehicle Challenge Fact Sheet:
 WHAT: A five-day intercollegiate competition designed to encourage engineering students to look toward the future in developing concepts for hybrid electric vehicles as practical transportation.
 An HEV is a vehicle with electric battery power as the primary energy source, but is supplemented with a combustion engine fueled by gasoline, ethanol or methanol.
 WHO: Engineering students from 30 universities across the U.S. and Canada.
 SPONSORS: Ford Motor Company, U.S. Department of Energy, Society of Automotive Engineers.
 WHEN: June 1-5 -- Various Ford facilities in Dearborn.
 SCHEDULE AND STORY ANGLES:
 June 1 -- Team arrivals, Technical and Safety Inspections, Qualifying Events. Location: Ford Research Engineering parking lot -- on Oakwood Boulevard next to the Dearborn Inn, 9 a.m-6 p.m.
 June 2 -- Welcome Rally -- Remarks by: Ford Chairman Harold Poling; U.S. Rep. John Dingell; Jack Schmidt, Society of Automotive Engineers. Engineering Design Event Judging -- Student-built vehicles on display.
 Additionally, 200 students from Detroit-area secondary schools will participate in the event as part of a program designed to encourage their interest in math and science studies. Location: Front lawn of the Henry Ford Museum, Village Road and Oakwood, Dearborn, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (Poling's address -- 11 a.m.)
 June 3 -- Emissions Testing. Location: Ford's Dearborn Proving Grounds, and Allen Park Test Laboratory, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (NOTE: Media must register for admission to the facilities.)
 June 4 -- 100-mile Driving Range Event -- Dearborn to Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, Mich. Location: Vehicles depart Dearborn Proving Grounds beginning at 9 a.m. Pit stop at Transmission & Chassis Facility, Levan and Plymouth Road, Livonia -- vehicles begin to arrive 9:30 a.m. (NOTE: Driving route available for photography and video opportunities.)
 June 5 -- "Commuter Challenge" -- testing performance in typical commuting conditions. Location: Dearborn Proving Grounds, Oakwood Boulevard, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Event is open to the public.
 CONTACT: Kathryn Blackwell of Ford, 313-322-7998/
 (F)


CO: Ford Motor Company; United States Department of Energy;
 Society of Automotive Engineers ST: Michigan, California IN: AUT SU:


JG-SK -- DE010 -- 3352 05/28/93 11:17 EDT
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Date:May 28, 1993
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