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30 UNIVERSITIES TO COMPETE IN FORD HYBRID ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHALLENGE

 30 UNIVERSITIES TO COMPETE IN FORD HYBRID ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHALLENGE
 DETROIT, Feb. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The names of the 30 U.S. and Canadian colleges and universities that have been selected to participate in the 1993 Ford Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) Challenge were announced today by Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F), the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).
 Speaking at a news conference during the SAE International Conference here, Helen O. Petrauskas, Ford's vice president - Environmental and Safety Engineering, said, "Ford's aim is to challenge college students to look toward the future and develop designs for hybrid electric vehicles as a practical means of personal transportation. Judging from the caliber of the entries, the future of these vehicles is in good hands."
 The Ford Hybrid Electric Vehicle Challenge is an intercollegiate competition designed to provide an exciting, practical interdisciplinary exercise for college students, as well as to encourage research and development of hybrid vehicles as low emission alternatives to traditional vehicles. HEVs also should reduce dependence on foreign oil.
 A hybrid electric vehicle is one with a primary energy source from electric battery power and an auxiliary power unit as a backup or supplement to the primary source. In this competition, the auxiliary power unit is restricted to using ethanol (E85), methanol (M85), or regular unleaded gasoline.
 "This competition is focused on addressing the transportation needs of the future," Petrauskas explained. "Because of the relative immaturity of HEV technology and the great number of design approaches possible, the Ford Hybrid Electric Vehicle Challenge can contribute significantly to the role that electric vehicles and hybrids will play in the coming years by adding to our store of knowledge."
 About 70 colleges and universities in 28 states and Canada submitted proposals that were evaluated by a panel of representatives from Ford, DOE, SAE, Argonne National Laboratory, General Motors, and Energy, Mines and Resources Canada.
 The selected schools will participate in the Ford Hybrid Electric Vehicle Challenge in June 1993, where they will compete for awards based on how well their vehicles meet design objectives including:
 -- fuel economy, emissions and safety
 -- driving range and handling, and
 -- cost, performance and driveability.
 For the next 15 months, the 30 teams will design, construct and develop their hybrid electric vehicles.
 Every participant will receive "seed money" in the form of a $10,000 check or a new Ford Escort station wagon -- depending on whether the school develops its electric vehicle from the ground up or converts the Escort to a hybrid. Additional money will be given to schools using ethanol or methanol fuels in their designs. Two-thirds of the participating schools plan to use one of these alternative fuels.
 Those selected to build hybrid electric vehicles from the ground up are: California Polytechnic State University - Pomona; California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo; Cornell University; Lawrence Technological University; Michigan State University; New York Institute of Technology; University of California - Davis; University of California - Santa Barbara; University of Tennessee; University of Texas - Arlington; University of Tulsa and Western Washington University.
 Those selected to convert the Escort to a hybrid are: California State University - Northridge; Colorado School of Mines; Colorado State University; Concordia University (Montreal); Jordan College Energy Institute (Comstock Park, Mich.); Pennsylvania State University; Seattle University; Stanford University; Texas Tech University; United States Naval Academy; University of Alberta (Edmonton); University of California - Irvine; University of Illinois; University of Wisconsin; Washington University (St. Louis); Wayne State University; Weber State University (Ogden, Utah) and West Virginia University.
 According to J. Michael Davis, Assistant Secretary of Energy for Conservation and Renewable Technologies, U.S. Department of Energy, "It makes sense for the next generation of students to help design what could become the next generation of automobiles. The development of new technology, like hybrid electric vehicles, is a key element in the Administration's National Energy Strategy, and so is development of the scientists and engineers we will need to compete internationally in the years ahead."
 SAE's support of the competition is based on both its educational and its environmental benefits. Jack Schmidt, 1992 SAE president, called the HEV Challenge "a perfect example of the kind of 'brain sport' that is essential to preparing engineering students for their professional careers. Not only will this exercise teach teamwork, organization and management skills," he said, "but also it will foster creative, interdisciplinary solutions to complex problems. We're delighted that industry, government and academia are getting together on this. SAE is focusing on these types of partnerships during the coming year." In addition, the Society has a long history of supporting research on alternative fuels, he noted.
 The HEV Challenge is being spearheaded by a volunteer group of highly motivated Ford College Graduates, members of Ford's two-year training and career development program for selected new hires.
 The schools chosen will participate in a workshop in Dearborn on Feb. 28-29 with seminars on management skills and HEV-related technology and safety. At a ceremony Saturday evening, Feb. 29, the "seed money" will be presented by Allan D. Gilmour, president - Ford Automotive Group, and Albert A. Chesnes, DOE's deputy assistant secretary for Transportation Technologies.
 -0- 2/24/92
 /NOTE: Members of the media are invited to attend the presentation ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 29, from 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. in the Hubbard Foyer at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Dearborn.
 CONTACT: Beryl Goldsweig of Ford Environmental & Safety, 313-337-2456/
 (F) CO: Ford Motor Company; Society of Automotive Engineers;
 U.S. Department of Energy ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU:


JG -- DE043 -- 1991 02/24/92 15:03 EST
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