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DOE ANNOUNCES FIRST-EVER HYBRID ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHALLENGE

 DETROIT, June 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The Department of Energy (DOE), through Argonne National Laboratory's Center for Transportation Research (CTR), Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) and SAE announced the 1993 Ford Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) Challenge, to be held in Detroit, June 1-6.
 The challenge is the first in a series of hybrid electric vehicle competitions and the first competition of its kind.
 Thirty North American colleges and universities will compete to develop the best HEV design, with two classes to choose from: conversion of a Ford Escort station wagon from gasoline power to a hybrid of electricity and a heat engine, or ground-up construction of a hybrid electric vehicle. Eighteen teams will compete in the conversion class; the remaining 12 make up the ground-up class participants. Ford and DOE shared the costs of donating the Escorts to the schools.
 CTR's Robert Larsen said HEVs could be in production within 10 years, adding that "the young engineers in the competition will likely be the ones to make HEV a reality." In the HEV Challenge, these student engineers must take an electric drivetrain and couple it with the long-range capabilities of an internal-combustion engine.
 The HEV Challenge is divided into two sets of events: dynamic and static. The dynamic events include an HEV Commuter Challenge, which tests urban maneuverability, driveability and efficiency, and events assessing emissions, range and acceleration. A total of 600 points are possible. The static events are made up of an engineering design inspection, cost analysis, technical report and oral presentation. These events offer 400 possible total points.
 The participating teams will compete for prizes in excess of $75,000. Awards will be given to the overall winners and to top finishers in each competitive event for both conversion and ground-up classes. Additional awards will be given in a variety of categories, including design innovation, safety, environmental friendliness, team spirit and best use of materials.
 The "hybrid" in "hybrid electric vehicle" means that an electric battery or fuel cell shares the burden of power with an engine. In the HEV Challenge, all vehicles must be fueled by M85 (85 percent methanol, 15 percent hydrocarbons), E95 (95 percent ethanol, 5 percent hydrocarbon denaturant) or reformulated gasoline. The cars must also meet federal exhaust emissions standards and have functioning evaporative emissions control.
 "The 1993 HEV Challenge is an excellent opportunity for engineering students to help define the design and performance of an important new vehicle technology," said Larsen. "HEVs are perhaps the best hope for significantly reduced fuel consumption and exhaust emissions while maintaining current levels of performance and comfort."
 Engineering design competitions sponsored by the Department of Energy, in partnership with industry, help students improve their abilities in addition to teaching them about energy efficiency, alternative fuels and advanced transportation research. By applying classroom knowledge to these hands-on, competitive experiences, students are exposed to the technical and organizational tools they will need as professionals.
 -0- 6/1/93
 /CONTACT: Barbara Pontello for Argonne National Laboratory, 412-772-7131/
 (F)


CO: Department of Energy; Argonne National Laboratory's Center for
 Transportation Research; Ford Motor Company; SAE ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU:


KC-CD -- PG006 -- 3952 06/01/93 12:16 EDT
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Date:Jun 1, 1993
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