EcoCAR 3 teams across the United States are working together with their local Clean Cities coalitions to host events, develop outreach products, and spread the word about alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies.
Two EcoCAR 3 teams received awards recently for videos they developed highlighting their teams’ collaboration with local Clean Cities coalitions. At its awards ceremony, the EcoCAR 3 program recognized the University of Alabama (UA), which teamed up with the Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition, and Arizona State University (ASU), which worked with the Valley of the Sun Clean Cities Coalition. In addition to trophies for “Best EcoCAR/Clean Cities Collaboration Video,” both the teams and the coalitions also received cash prizes.
EcoCAR 3, a four-year program that runs through 2018, tasks students from 16 different universities to re-engineer a Chevrolet Camaro. Student teams are challenged to keep the Camaro’s iconic body design, while increasing fuel efficiency, maintaining performance and safety, and meeting high consumer standards. The teams also focus on developing technologies that will lower emissions by incorporating alternative fuels.
This year, EcoCAR 3 teams partnered with Clean Cities Coalitions on projects that brought value to both entities, including sustainability fairs, outreach materials, and K-12 activities.
The UA EcoCAR 3 team maintained that it “made sense” to collaborate with the Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition, as both programs are ultimately working towards the same mission—to reduce petroleum use in the transportation sector. The Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition and the student team collaborated on seven different occasions to create awareness about idle reduction measures, fuel economy measures, and new transportation technologies at events like trade shows, seminars, and Earth Day celebrations.
“The Alabama Clean Fuels coalition has been wonderful and so supportive,” said Communication Manager Brittany Galloway in the UA EcoCAR 3 team’s video. “They even allowed us to publish an article in their newsletter about what we’ve accomplished on campus with EcoCAR 3 and how our technical goals align with theirs.”
The partnership between the Valley of the Sun Clean Cities coalition and the ASU EcoCAR 3 team was also mutually beneficial. Thanks to the coalition, the student team got the chance to meet with local fleets that run alternative fuel vehicles and were able to establish relationships with vendors who helped with the team’s outreach and events. The EcoCAR 3 team also helped promote and collect student surveys at an Odyssey Day event on the coalition’s behalf.
“I would personally like to thank the Valley of the Sun Clean Cities for giving us the opportunity to work with a group that’s doing something so meaningful,” said Communication Manager Ashley Yost in the ASU EcoCAR 3 team’s video. “We’re both working towards something that is not only going to have an impact on our future, but our community’s future.”
- Kendall Septon, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Amanda McAlpin, Argonne National Laboratory
- Clean Cities Technical Response Service Team