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ELECTRIC VEHICLES CONVERGE ON DEARBORN FOR NATIONAL COMPETITION

 DEARBORN, Mich., June 2 /PRNewswire/ -- They began arriving in Dearborn over the Memorial Day weekend -- 30 teams of university students, each hoping their car will be the winning entry in the Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) Challenge. Some converted a Ford Escort to run on electricity and a back-up fuel; some built their hybrid vehicles from the ground up; all hope to prove their design will surpass all others in a battery of tests designed to measure emissions, energy efficiency, safety, performance and overall design. More than $75,000 in prizes will be awarded to the top finishers.
 The HEV Challenge, co-sponsored by Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F), runs June 1-5 and includes entries from 30 U.S. and Canadian universities. The student teams have been working for the past 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 student teams arrived with their stories, as well as their cars.
 -- Colorado School of Mines' driver, Michele Atwell, is majoring in metallurgy.
 -- The University of Alberta produced a brochure and business cards to aid in their quest for sponsorship dollars.
 -- And various components on Cal Poly Pomona's car, including the rear axle assembly, are actually engineering projects completed by graduating senior engineering students.
 After three days of qualifying events, the teams will compete in 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. The overall winners of the competition will be announced at an 800-person banquet later that evening.
 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.
 -0- 6/2/93
 /CONTACT: Kathryn Blackwell of Ford Public Affairs, 313-322-7998/
 (F)


CO: Ford Motor Company; U.S. Department of Energy; Society of
 Automotive Engineers ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU:


DH -- DE005 -- 4257 06/02/93 07:45 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 2, 1993
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