Wayne State University engineering students compete in EcoCAR2 contest

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Artist's rendition of the Wayne State University logo.

Wayne State University engineering students are designing the future of the Chevy Malibu in the EcoCAR2 competition. (Photo Credit: CC BY-ND/LERAWeb)

As part of an international, three-year automotive engineering contest, students from Michigan’s Wayne State University are getting a crack at re-designing the 2013 Chevy Malibu to be more eco-friendly, reports the Detroit Free Press. The Detroit-based school is the only state institution involved in the EcoCAR2 contest, as well as one of only 13 American universities, according to Jerry Ku, the Wayne State design teams’ engineering faculty adviser.

Hybrid Warriors flex engineering muscles

Forty Wayne State University graduate and undergraduate students from the mechanical, control and electric engineering departments are working on a donated white 2013 Chevy Malibu car, courtesy of General Motors. The team has planned the re-design for the past year. The upcoming two years will involve rebuilding, refining and testing prototype models.

“This is my passion,” said General Motors engineering group manager Chris Trush. “Year two is where the fun really begins.”

‘Aim higher. Aim hybrid.’

The Wayne State EcoCAR2 engineering team, which is nicknamed Hybrid Warriors, has plans to convert the Malibu into a four-wheel drive vehicle, add an electric motor to the rear and create software that will control the updated, hybridized system – a nod to the team’s motto, “Aim higher. Aim hybrid.”

“The innovation is in the integration,” said second-year grad student and project manager Idan Regev. “Putting parts together is not trivial… We have to tear parts apart and fit them in it.”

What is EcoCAR2?

Billed as the event that’s “Plugging in to the Future,” EcoCAR2 is a three-year international collegiate engineering competition, the only one of its kind. Competitors gain hands-on, real-world experience engineering automotive projects that they would likely take on if they were to go on to work within the industry. A variety of powertrain architectures are explored, with primary focus given to electric vehicle technology. The vehicle development process (VDP) involved is specifically modeled after the same VDP used by General Motors engineers. Following the process gives teams the opportunity to improve vehicles while at the same time retaining a focus on consumer acceptability, as well as vehicle performance and safety.

Be there September 21

Maybe you’re referring to the School of Business Administration’s event instead?

In addition to eh the EcoCAR2 excitement, on September 21, 2012, the Wayne State School of Business Administration will host an all-day presentation that is part of the Supply Chain Case Competition. Those interested in attending can RSVP at the Wayne State link below. The location will be the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, and the cost will be $100.

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Wayne State’s EcoCAR2 sponsorship collaboration


Detroit Free Press

EcoCar2: http://www.ecocar2.org/

USA Today

Wayne State University


  1. News on


    Just want to bring to your attention that EcoCAR 2 isn’t involved in a Sept. 21 event. Maybe you’re referring to the School of Business Administration’s event http://business.wayne.edu/supply-chain-case-competition.php instead? 

    Thank you,
    Office of Marketing and Communications
    Wayne State College of Engineering

    • Steve Tarlow on

      Thanks for the clarity. I’ll make sure to note it!